About Community Engagement and Program Priorities

Learn more about Community Engagement and our top program priorities.

Defining Community Engagement

Volunteerism is probably the most recognizable form of community engagement. Volunteers work together to address community concerns. People who plan community service projects typically think critically about all sides of an issue. In return, those volunteers benefit from living and contributing to a stronger community.

Community engagement goes beyond volunteering.  Here at Minnesota State University, Mankato community engagement can include:

  • Volunteering your time for a cause you value
  • Donating your money or goods for a cause you value
  • Taking a class that researches about a cause
  • Attended community meetings about a cause
  • Developing new leadership skills
  • Participating in deliberative dialogue about a community concern
  • Working in a profession that supports a cause
  • Advocating for and educating others 
  • Letter writing campaigns
  • Voter rights and registration

Through the Community Engagement Office students take what they are learning far beyond the classroom walls and into the rest of their lives, affecting change and becoming advocates. 

Programming Priorities

To keep our work manageable, Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Community Engagement Office focuses our work  on the following priorities:

  • Food Insecurity: Our programs address food insecurity including food drives and  Free Farmers Markets along with creating community partnerships with other food based organizations.
  • Children: Literacy and active play are at the center of our childrens programming. We continually partner with Manakto area agencies to put on engaging events like the Maverick Holiday Carnival, Stomper's Bookcase, Foster Youth Mentor Day and coming soon, our first ever book drive for National Reading Month this March 2024
  • Environment: Lifting up others often means coming along on their journey toward a cleaner and safer world. This can look like roadside cleanups, raking leaves for elderly residents, and increasing the usage of public forms of transportation. 
  • Building Partnerships: Mankato may be a smaller city but there is BIG potential to come together and tackle a variety of needs and issues. Programs evolve and change and we aim to continually meet the needs of others where they are at.