About Community Engagement and Program Priorities

Learn more about Community Engagement and our top program priorities.

Defining Community Engagement

Have you ever volunteered for a community service project for a non-profit agency? Volunteerism is probably the most recognizable form of community engagement. Volunteers work together to address community concerns. People who plan community service project typically think critically about all sides to an issue or project, to insure project success. That critical thinking includes the short-term and long-term impact of the project – positive, negative, and neutral – and other points of community impact. In return, those volunteers benefit from living and contributing to a stronger community.

Community engagement goes well beyond volunteering. While the Community Engagement Office at Minnesota State University, Mankato focuses on volunteer opportunities, community engagement includes:

  • 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
  • Taking a class that allows you to learn about an issue while you serve to address that 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 about a cause or issue
  • Writing a letter to your senator or congressional representative about an issue
  • Register to vote and vote to support an issue
  • Run for office or support a candidate for office

Through involvement in community engagement, students develop skills to be strong members of our community, impacting commerce, health, education, social services, faith organizations, and all sectors of our communities.

Programming Priorities

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

  • Food Insecurity: Our programs that address food insecurity include food drives and the Free Farmers Market.
  • Children: Our programs that address the needs of children include: Maverick Holiday Carnival, Foster Youth Mentor Day, Cardz for Kidz, and others.
  • Environment: Programs that address environmental concerns include the Sibley Park Clean Up, Roadside Clean Up, and others.
  • Other general community needs and requests: Programs that general community needs include Involvement Fair, MLK Day of Service, Maverick Day of Service, and others.

In addition to the projects we lead, we share information about community volunteer requests with the campus community, to encourage their participation in events like Rake the Town, Girls on the Run, and other programs and events.