The University of Montana (UM) sits in the heart of Missoula, Montana, a city well-known for having high levels of social capital and civic engagement opportunities. UM is an integral part of the community on many fronts, and we are proud of the long-standing tradition of student and faculty civic engagement in partnership with local nonprofit organizations, city government, and private businesses to address issues of public concern at the local level and beyond.
Many colleges and universities across the country recognize that higher education institutions must make democracy and civic responsibility a central aspect of higher learning (AAC&U). This value is documented in mission statements and strategic plans. In part, The University of Montana’s mission is to “educate competent and humane professionals and informed, ethical, and engaged citizens of local and global communities; and provide basic and applied research, technology transfer, cultural outreach, and service benefiting the local community, region, State, nation and the world”. In support of this mission, and to galvanize skills for effective community engagement, the Office for Civic Engagement offers various programs to build civic competencies among students.
The Office for Civic Engagement cultivates civic competency through curricular and community-based experiences.
The Office for Civic Engagement envisions informed and ethical graduates dedicated to lifelong civic engagement.
The Office for Civic Engagement’s guiding principles underscore the fundamental need for and value of civic engagement programs and curriculum at the University of Montana.
Growth: civic engagement enriches student learning, faculty and staff development and scholarly pursuits.
Collaboration: civic engagement establishes networks of reciprocity and partnerships between campus and community.
Service: civic engagement connects people to place, and provides for engaged participation in a democratic society.