by Kate Wetterstrand, CFICE Administrative RA

A group of people laughing.As students we’ve all heard the very ‘tumblr’ quote “You all have a little bit of ‘I want to save the world in you’. That’s why you’re here in college”. But, did you know that participating in community-campus engagement can actually help you cultivate that ambition and actively help you make the world a better place?

So, what is Community Campus Engagement (CCE) and how can it improve the world?

Community-campus engagement (CCE) is when members of the community and members of post-secondary campuses come together to reach a common goal. When the community and campus is unified in purpose, society’s best minds and hearts are at work to improve humanity!

For example, one student working with CFICE–Zhaocheng Zeng–had a great opportunity to impact her community when she partnered with the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction in 2014 to study living wage in Hamilton, Ontario. This collaborative research project contributed to a better understanding of employee motivations at work, and also led to more employers signing up to be living wage employers.

Participating in CCE can help you make the world a better place by:

  • Generating new perspectives on how to best improve society
  • Strengthening community capacity, particularly for vulnerable groups
  • Providing an incubator for open-minded and engaged citizens
  • Constructing networks that improve access to capacity and resources
  • Addressing local challenges with new solutions.
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Enhancing contributions to social change
  • Fostering community!

Members of the GottaGo! team, including student volunteers ©GottaGo!

How can you get involved?

  • Talk to an academic advisor about your interest in seeking a placement/ internship in a community organization relevant to your study/ interests
  • Keep your eyes peeled for on-campus posters, brochures and tables that advertise volunteer opportunities
  • Visit or to find local volunteer opportunities
  • Check out CFICE’s piece on how to get involved in CCE for more ideas

What best practices will help you be the most effective partner?

  • Stay open-minded and respectful of all partners.
  • Focus on listening before sharing your ideas so you fully understand the community partner’s needs and expertise.
  • Seek to make connections for long-term projects and networks.
  • Take every opportunity to seek training on skills and competencies for effective CCE.
  • Take pride in your CCE work! Share your experiences with friends, and be willing to be a mentor for future students.
  • Stay up to date with all of CFICE’s latest by subscribing to our newsletter.

Your desire to “save the world” is something that makes you great! Take it, cultivate it in CCE, and go make the world a better place!