The Office of Engaged Learning is a hub for academic activity focused on helping students and faculty work together to promote the flourishing of neighbors near and far. In the area of civic engagement, the OEL houses multiple efforts to create, facilitate, and grow opportunities for our students to lead and serve in our community, state, nation, and world. This occurs in a variety of ways: through centralized programs run within the OEL, such as the Philanthropy & Public Service Program and the Shepherd Scholars Program, as well as through leadership of a growing College-wide effort to embed civic engagement opportunities in many academic departments through the Core Curriculum.
The Office of Engaged Learning operates on a belief that civic engagement is not the purview of any one field or discipline. Rather, we all have opportunities to maximize our learning and bring a variety of gifts—time, talent, intellect, and influence, for example—to the shared work of creating a good society. Poet Seamus Heaney referred to those moments in our lifetimes when “hope and history rhyme,” those spaces where what has happened is met by what we decide to make of it. In the Office of Engaged Learning, we believe that the undergraduate years, a pivotal time in a person's life, present an unparalleled opportunity for us all to think together about how we can approach the future, to develop the right skills and mindsets for effective engagement, and to get down to the real work of building the kind of society that allows all people to thrive.
Our efforts to build and improve effective civic engagement opportunities is never finished, and we invite all students and faculty to join us—with fresh ideas, new insights, and potential partnerships—in that collaborative work!