Do you have a vision for community-campus engagement in Canada?

CFICE, in conjunction with the Community-Campus Engage Canada (CCEC) working group, is setting in motion a collaborative vision for community-campus engagement (CCE) in Canada and we want to hear from you!

We have crafted the vision statement below (en français ici).

Please take a moment to read through it!

C2UExpo 2017 Collaborative Vision Statement on Community-Campus Engagement (CCE) in Canada

April 20, 2017

Vision Statement

On the occasion of C2UExpo 2017 and Canada’s 150th year we, the undersigned, commit to working together to strengthen Canada’s community-campus engagement (CCE)[1] movement in service of the common good. Exemplary community-driven CCE builds on partnership principles that mitigate power imbalances by aligning institutions for community impact, developing shared goals, as well as establishing mutual trust, ongoing communication, and reciprocity. Adherence to these principles is especially critical in the context of partnership work with Indigenous communities, given past and ongoing injustices experienced by Canada’s Indigenous peoples as subjects of research and government policy.

We envision a Canada in which all post-secondary institutions are active partners, working with non-profit, public and private sector actors, including Indigenous communities and organizations, to strengthen the local, national, and global communities in which they work. Universities and colleges are uniquely positioned to support the co-creation of innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to the pressing issues of our time.

CCE enhances community resilience, contributes to diverse kinds of innovation, and strengthens the knowledge base for evidence-based policy. CCE enables governments to incorporate academic insights as well as community priorities in the development of more effective policies and programs. CCE builds student capabilities for meaningful civic engagement and work that benefits the common good and enhances students’ workplace as well as livelihood skills. CCE contributes to the social license of post-secondary institutions and their partners alike.

To strengthen the CCE movement in Canada, governments, funders, post-secondary institutions, community-based organizations, for profit and non-profit companies, professors, and students all have unique and vital roles to play.

We envision governments at all levels, along with research funders and foundations, actively participating in collaborative regional and national networks to strengthen CCE in Canada.

We envision Canadian universities and colleges foregrounding CCE in strategic planning, offering CCE skill building to faculty members and students, and valuing the leadership of community-engaged scholars within their institutions through relevant tenure and promotion standards. Working alongside other partners, post-secondary institutions also have a key role in evaluating and documenting the impact of all forms of CCE.

We envision community-based organizations engaging strategically in CCE projects that bring value to their communities and working through peer networks to share information on how to work effectively with post-secondary institutions including, where feasible, hosting graduate student co-researchers and offering Community-Service Learning experiences for undergraduates. We recognize community-based organizations as funders of community-campus engagement via in-kind donations and mentoring by professional staff.

We envision private sector participants as CCE movement funders, as research partners willing to share publicly the results that benefit the common good, and as employers of students through fairly paid co-op and internship opportunities.

We envision all sectors (public, private, non-profit, and universities) actively engaged in social procurement to build the capacity of mission-focused enterprises while furthering economic growth, social development, and environmental sustainability.

We envision professors who recognize the value of Indigenous knowledge as well as community expertise and who open up opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students for community-engaged research and learning partnerships.

We envision students bringing their own rich backgrounds to their studies and work for the common good, actively seeking out experiences to acquire and co-create CCE skills and capacity, and mentoring other students based on those experiences.


This vision statement was prepared collaboratively by community and academic leaders from Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE), Research Impact Canada, the Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning, Community-Based Research Canada, and others.  It is based, in part, on recommendations proposed by a group of twenty community partners and twenty academics who participated in a CCE Evaluation Symposium for the CFICE project held in Ottawa in January 2017. It has also benefited from stakeholder input gathered at C2Uexpo in May, 2017.

Next steps:

Strategy Development and Implementation.

[1] Community-campus engagement (CCE) includes community-based research (faculty and student), community-service learning, internships, co-operative education, and the partnerships through which post-secondary institutions act as anchor institutions in local economies.

If you would like to provide feedback on this statement, please contact us!