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    Engagement Hours

    What Counts as "Community Engagement"?

    We conceptualize community engagement as collaborative efforts to democratically invest in the common good, contributing to the quality of life and shared futures of communities within and beyond campus. Community Partners can include non-profits, schools, government agencies, or community groups or associations. This definition encompasses traditional volunteering and service (both ongoing commitments and one-time events); initiatives to raise awareness on campus; administrative or indirect work for community-based organizations; short-term but immersive pursuits like Alternative Breaks trips; community-based work abroad or during the summer; and various other activities.  It includes events, programs, and campaigns sponsored by any CC campus office; work conducted through a class; paid or unpaid internships; and individual efforts that have no CC sponsor.  

    The goal of the Engaged Scholars program is to encourage students to consider and articulate how what they’re doing constitutes engaged citizenship and addresses social and environmental needs.

    For specific details on what you can and cannot count as engagement hours, please click here.

    Intellectual, Moral, and Social Developmental Goals

    1. Encourage students to become engaged citizens, participating in community life through efforts to create positive social and environmental change.
    2. Develop personal, professional and social convictions and values that will inform students’ future lives and careers.
    3. Deepen students’ understanding of the causes and consequences of social and environmental issues and solutions through experiential learning.
    4. Enable students to apply abstract knowledge to real-world contexts, contextualizing and bringing the classroom to life. Reciprocally, provide students an outlet for experiential learning to enrich their academic studies.
    5. Cultivate empathy through providing space to interact with and encounter the strengths and assets of diverse groups and cultures; and reflect on how environments and social forces influence individual lives, life chances, thoughts, behaviors, and potentials.
    6. Promote self-reflection and intentionality, motivating students to critically examine their own lives and bear in mind the social consequences of personal actions and decisions.
    7. Foster critical self-awareness of students’ own social location, identities, privileges, and disadvantages, and the ways they may be implicated in structures of difference and inequality.
    8. Develop skills and capacities in ways that will assist students in their work as current and future change agents, and that increase preparedness for future careers and experiences in all domains.
    9. Awaken students’ hope and obligation to build a more just, humane world through continued commitment to engaged citizenship; and develop confidence in their ability to influence positive change.

    Specific questions about whether activities would fulfill these expectations? Contact

    Engagement Programs at CC  

    Looking for a way to engage but not sure where to start?  The following opportunities are great entry points into community engagement, and are pre-approved to count toward the Community Engaged Scholar program.



     Ongoing Commitments

    Student Organizations

    Get involved in ongoing engagement opportunities through one of the CCE’s many student-led organizations.  These organizations engage in various forms of social change and community-based work.

    Volunteering Opportunities (filter “ongoing” opportunities)

    Passionate about an issue but can’t find a student organization?  Volunteer with community-based organizations directly by browsing CCE partners or volunteer opportunities directly requested from community organizations.

    Campus Vote Initiative

    Engage politically by helping register fellow students to vote and informing the campus about important political issues.

    Office of Sustainability Opportunities

    The Office of Sustainability seeks teams of volunteers to work with interns on sustainability projects and helps advise EnAct (Environmental Action).


    The Disability Awareness Group partners with the Best Buddies program and Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association.

    Prison Project

    Partners with multiple local detention centers and a halfway house in an effort to engage in prison reform.

    CC Refugee Alliance Aims to support and welcome refugees, often the most vulnerable members of the community, arriving from all over the world to the Colorado Springs area.

    Short-Term Commitments


    Engage in immersive, short-term service through attending or leading a BreakOut trip.  BreakOut offers Saturday trips, Block Break trips, and Alternative Break (week long) trips.

    Engagement Calendar

    Check out the CCE’s Engagement Calendar to engage in short-term service opportunities that were directly requested from community organizations.  If you are interested in an opportunity but need some support to be able to participate (e.g. coordinating transportation), please contact

    Academic Options

    Community Engaged Leadership (CEL) Certificate

    The CEL program is a certificate program designed to help students focus and develop their interests and abilities in areas related to service, leadership, and public engagement.  Hours from engaged experiences and capstones can be logged.

    Community-Based Learning  (CBL) Courses

    In CBL courses, students participate in engaged projects that both promote student learning and meet community needs.  Hours from the engagement projects may be logged.

    Paid Options

    P.I.F.P. Public Interest Fellowship Program Summer Fellowships

    Gain experience for future work in the non-profit world through PIFP, which aims to develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders through offering paid fellowships at public interest organizations. Summer Fellows work full-time with local nonprofits for 10 weeks.

    Off-Campus Work Study Positions
    (link coming soon!)

    Use your work study funding for the public good through applying to work for a nonprofit or community organization. 

    Public Achievement

    A civic engagement program designed to empower youth to improve their schools and communities. Coaches facilitate a community-organizing process with teams of K-12 youth to identify issues they care about, conduct community-based research, and then implement a social change project that aims to solve a problem that impacts their lives on a regular basis. Work study funding available.

    Office of Sustainability Internships

    At the Office of Sustainability, teams of student interns paired with dedicated student volunteer work on independent projects and are often embedded in different offices in CC administration.  Much of this work would be considered engagement.

    Priddy Trips

    Apply to lead a service-oriented New Student Orientation “Priddy” Trip – and feel free to document and reflect on the trip you led!

    Off-Campus Options

    T.R.E.E. Semester (Teaching and Research in Environmental Education)

    Engage more intensively with local schools through this off-campus program at the Catamount Center.  The TREE semester is directed toward students interested in exploring environmental and educational fields in order to inspire their own and their student’s conceptions of environmental stewardship and love for the natural world. Through the program, student gain 100 hours of experiential teaching.


    Engage off-campus through HECUA, a study abroad option at CC.  HECUA’s experiential programs focus on “justice, social change, and imaginative approaches to difficult problems.”  HECUA students spend up to 200 hours in a project-based internship hosted by a nonprofit community partner. 

    In addition, we would encourage you to consider how your involvement in the following programs may have engaged components, even if the full purpose of the program may not be community engagement. 

    • Butler Center Student Organizations: These organizations work to “promote education and the pursuit of providing inclusive, welcoming places for all students.”  We encourage you to document and reflect on the campus community-oriented efforts of your involvement in these groups.
    • Greek Organizations: As one of the many goals of Greek Organizations is to contribute to the Colorado Springs community, we encourage you to document and reflect on your engaged work through these organizations.
    • Wellness Resource Center Student Organizations (PEEPs, Grow, NAMI, etc.): If your work through these organizations is aiming to change the campus culture or raise awareness around health issues – as opposed to self-reflection and small group support, which is fantastic but not necessarily community engagement – we encourage you to document those aspects of your work with the WRC.
    • Office of Sustainability LLCs and Theme Housing: If you are involved in the Synergy House, the EcoRA program, the PRIDE LLC, or the Sense of Place LLC, we encourage you to consider what aspects of your involvement would constitute engagement.