Engagement = Survival

Community Engagement = Survival

Eastern-Willimantic street signs

Faculty engagement and connecting students with our community is not only an excellent academic practice it is a wise strategy for the survival and viability of higher education. In the current economic and social environment it is critical for institutions of higher learning to show legislators, stakeholders and taxpayers all of the benefits created by public investments that exist outside of the classroom.

Connecting course content with real-world application and direct experience by students creates the opportunity for deeper learning. The work students perform provides valuable material for their personal portfolios for employment or further study. A degree alone without a strong portfolio is just not enough for success these days. This good work should not exist only as a grade on a transcript or paper in a filing cabinet — it should be alive and pulsing with some aspect of the everyday life in our region.

Many times when faculty consider engaging they think it is too much additional work. Not so! Perhaps a little at the beginning to establish a connection with CCE and potential partners, but this is actually smarter work, leveraging the existing workload with many new outcomes that can prime the pump for much more creativity in future semesters.

Telling stories of engagement success is part of the work of the CCE. We are here to help you learn how feasible and exciting this effort can be. See the videos below for many examples of what faculty members are doing now. Join this effort and we will share your story!

For New and Recent Faculty

As you create your plans for future teaching at Eastern you have a highly creative and productive option that you may not know about. Whatever your department a latent and undeveloped linkage already exists that can provide you and your students with a rich and rewarding experience. Contact the CCE to create and design efficient and easily managed engagement activities that can help you on your teaching path, your students on their academic journeys and Eastern as it strives to grow and serve Connecticut.

For Veteran and Senior Faculty

Have you connected your life work to our community yet? Why not? Whether it is teaching or research there are many ways, small and large, that you can enrich and expand your level of service to students by linking course content to the spectrum of community needs in our region. Every department has unopened doors and senior faculty already have the keys to open. You can bring some new energy into your own work and provide examples of success that other faculty can see for themselves and consider trying in their classes.

Join us for the Second Annual Civic Action Conference at Eastern in November 2017

We are planning our second Civic Action Conference over the summer and we invite your suggestions and ideas for sessions that may be interesting and relevant to your work. We hope you will join us at the Student Center on campus on November 8 or 15 (date pending). As plans are confirmed we will post all information on our website and update you via email.


On November 18, 2016 the CCE sponsored a Civic Action Conference at Eastern for faculty to review and assess existing service learning and engagement activities. 13 presentations were recorded and archived on YouTube for anyone to learn more about ways to connect academic learning with our community.

The opening session with CCE Director Kim Silcox is below. In the top left corner of the screen is a table of contents icon to view all other videos in this collection.

Another video below from 2015 with background on social responsibility and community engagement at Eastern:

If you would like to learn more about how you can connect your work to our community contact the Center for Community Engagement:

Kim Silcox, Director
Kemesha Wilmot, Associate Director
John Murphy, Communication Coordinator