Center for Community Engagement Assessment

About The Center for Community Engagement

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) was established in 2013, bringing together the complimentary missions of our six community engagement programs. CCE serves as the campus hub for community engagement, providing diverse student opportunities and institutitional vision and direction. CCE aims to provide every USU student with opportunities to find their passion, apply their education and make a positive and meaningful contribution to the greater community through service and civic engagement. CCE works together with local, regional, national and international partners to tackle critical issues identified by the community.

Students who actively participate in Community-Engaged Learning, Research or Co-Curricular service will:

  1. Develop Civic Awareness:
    • Articulate civic responsibilities and provide examples of active citizenship.
    • Identify systemic causes of social and/or environmental problems.
  2. Develop Civic Knowledge/Skills:
    • Understand and use effective communication strategies to listen, express, and collaborate toward civic action.
    • Connect and extend knowledge of one’s own academic discipline to the public good.
  3. Engage in Civic Action:
    • Identify and evaluate assets, strengths, challenges, and opportunities in partnership with community.
    • Design and implement solutions to community-identified social and environmental challenges

As stated by our President, Noelle Cockett:

“We believe service and civic engagement elevate the academic experience. By putting classroom learning into practice through meaningful acts of service, students learn important lessons in civic responsibility while strengthening communities. Aggies who participate in service-learning graduate as citizen scholars equipped to help transform communities in the state, country and world.

“We believe each of us can engage in sustainable practices that meet present needs without compromising the needs of future generations.

Mission Statement

Developing active citizens through community engagement and scholarship

Vision Statement

Furthering USU’s land-grant mission, CCESL empowers students to explore civic identity, develop leadership skills, and address community-identified needs, locally and around the world  

Core Values

We value:

  • The strong tradition of national service and conservation in American society
  • Active and informed citizenship
  • The inclusion of diverse and underrepresented populations
  • Reciprocal partnerships that inform community-driven change
  • Critical and reflective thinking
  • The public purpose of higher education

Goals and Learning Outcomes:

  1. Have a deepened understanding of Civic Engagement & Responsibility (awareness
  2. Have knowledge and skills necessary to effectively carry out their role within the community (knowledge/skills)
  3. Have made a positive contribution to the community (action/stewardship)

Foundational Documents

Assessment Plan/Matrix 2017-2018

Center for Community Engagement  - ASSESSMENT PLAN/MATRIX, 2017-2018
(Objectives and Learning Outcomes)
Assessment Tool
Data Source
Timeline Responsible
Map to
Division Goals
Increase our Ability to tell the CCE story

Review of documentation output at annual strategic planning meeting

Internal Monthly Memos; Department Calendar; External Newsletters; Social Media Posts; PR Material Development; Press Release; Internal Staff assessment survey 2017-18 Liz Kirkham leads; team effort 2
Strengthen reciprocal partnerships on and off campus CBI partnership model/CEL course approval process; Review of documentation output at annual strategic planning meeting CCE Students / AmeriCorps member survey data 2017- 2019 Team Effort 2, 8
Community Engagement 
First-Time Carnegie Classification Framework; Civic Action Plan; CAP Assessment Tool Campus wide assessments; data gathered from task force; Institutional Framework/policy documents; community engagement 2020 Kate Stephens leads; team effort 2
Prepare USU Students to Graduate as Citizen Scholars Assess Learning Outcomes for first-year and graduating seniors (see updated learning outcomes) USU Students 2019 Kate Stephens leads; team effort 2

Outcomes Data

2017/18 – Started the Carnegie Community-Engaged certification process for the Carnegie classification.

2016/17 – Addition of OrgSync to better assess and track community engagement at USU. Rollout Fall 2017.

2016 – All CCE programs implemented new or revised assessments to better track CCE’s ability to serve our students, community, and AmeriCorps members and meet the department learning objectives. Expansion of CBI program to encompass all CCE partnerships on and off campus.

2015- USU received the 2015 presidential service honor roll distinction in the general service category based off USU programs and data collected during the 2014-15 academic year. In 2015, the department engaged 3066 USU student volunteers, mobilized 12,912 community volunteers serving 129,460 hours. The department also has the largest number of AmeriCorps members (358) serving on any campus in Utah. Piloted Community Bridge Initiative to redefine reciprocal partnerships with community and campus.

Continuous Improvement


In 2017, CCESL completed the USU Civic Action Plan, recommitting USU to community engagement in research, academics, and the preparation of students for a lifetime of democratic citizenship. Over the course of a year, the civic action planning team developed the following three commitment statements the plan will address:

  • Develop a campus culture of civic and community engagement through increased awareness of opportunities that prepare USU students for lives of engaged citizenship.
  • Provide incentives to increase the high-impact practice of service-learning/community engaged learning across all disciplines.
  • Improve USU’s ability to share successes and tell the story of community engagement through systematic campus-wide tracking and assessment.

In 2018, the Center for Civic Engagement & Service-Learning (CCESL) changed its name to the Center for Community Engagement (CCE). Our name change is part of a growing movement across campuses to replace the term “Service-Learning” with “Community-Engaged Learning”. The term “Service-Learning” implies one-way service to the larger community rather than mutually beneficial collaborative relationships between campus and community. At USU, we strive for reciprocity and community voice in all of our community engagement efforts. 

To build and strengthen our communities as well as reinvigorate student learning to serve a public purpose, the Center for Community Engagement is designating USU programs, departments, colleges and Statewide Campuses as Community-Engaged. To obtain the Community Engagement designation, a unit must show they have developed a culture that rewards and encourages community-engaged work completed by students, faculty, and staff. Policies should include community engagement language, and engagement opportunities should be blended into research, academic, and co-curricular work. The Center for Community Engagement provides a self-assessment to help determine if units qualify for the designation.

The CCE meets regularly with the office of Analysis, Assessment, and Accreditation and the Provost’s Office to continuously improve faculty recognition and reward for Community Engagement and campus-wide tracking and assessment of Community Engagement.


CCESL celebrated its third full year of operation with a number of successes including the Service-Learning Scholars program tripling in size with the acceptance of 29 new scholars in 2016. The Utah Conservation Corps sent two crews to respond to the fall flooding in the Baton Rouge area.  The Student Sustainability Office launched the Campus Farmers Market that offers affordable local produce to students. Aggie Blue Bikes received a $38,000 grant from UCAIR to launch a community bike share program.


CCESL continued to build upon its successes and collaborative efforts as a department. With financial assistance from the Vice President of Student Affairs and the Provost’s Office, CCESL hired Kristin Brubaker in October of 2015 to assist the department in leading the campus in the completion the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification application for 2020.  The department also launched the Community Bridge Initiative, a program that aims to foster improved and reciprocal relationships between the USU campus and community partners, with 92% of student participants reporting a positive impact in the first year. The Utah Conservation Corps launched the first year of its bike crew, a conservation field crew that travels to projects solely on cargo bicycles. The Utah Conservation Corps bike crew received national recognition for the innovative nature of this project gaining The Corps Network Project of the Year Award and the Recreational Trails Coalition Annual Achievement Award. The department also received $29,000 in grants from UCAIR (Utah Clean Air Partnership) for the purchase of a Chevy Volt and an electric utility vehicle.  Aggie Blue Bikes also celebrated it’s tenth year of operation with a grand re-opening ceremony that took place after remodel paid for by an $89,000 UDOT grant.


CCESL made several strides forward in its first full year as a department with a number of innovative steps. Education Outreach implemented a $10,000 grant in cooperation with the USU Music Department and Gear Up to implement a Math, Music, and Technology program with GEARUP students around the state. This was the first year the CCESL created a cohesive annual report that highlighted the accomplishments of all six programs of the department. Nelda Ault, Community Service Coordinator at Utah State University’s (USU) Val R. Christensen Service Center, received the 2014 Cache Interagency Council’s Outstanding Individual Award for her ongoing work with Cache Valley’s refugee community.