UMA Civic Engagement connects and coordinates the many different classes, events, programs, and opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to get involved in their communities. Our goals are to strengthen the personal and academic development of our students, build our UMA community, and connect our students to the greater society through service, civic activities, and community leadership.
Civic Engagement and Service Learning have broad and sometimes fluid definitions and usages, and are often used interchangeably. For the purposes of clarity, UMA Civic Engagement uses the following working definitions:
Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.
— Thomas Ehrlich, Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, 2000
Service-learning incorporates community work into the curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community.