Center for Community Engagement and Social Research

What We Do

The Center for Community Engagement & Social Research brings together the important work of community engagement and applied research. Our primary goal is to integrate teaching, research, and service through community engagement. Additionally, we want all students to engage in multiple experiential learning opportunities, for faculty to develop scholarship with a community focus, and for our community to work with us to address their most pressing needs.

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Community engagement is a method of research, creative work, teaching, and learning that emphasizes university-community collaboration characterized by mutual benefit and reciprocity

When communities have the need for high quality research but limited resources to conduct or purchase those services, Central works to provide a mechanism through which resources and needs can be met.

Service learning incorporates experiential activities, personal reflection, and action in the community. Opportunities can be conducted through a course, campus experience, or by a club/organization.

Civic engagement is individual or collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern, including individual volunteerism, organizational involvement, and advocacy.

Internships provide students with direct experience in a work setting – preferably related to their career path – and provides supervision from professionals in the field. These are often taken for course credit and can be paid or unpaid.

Volunteering allows students to give their time and labor for a community service. This can be a one-time as-needed occurrence, or students can maintain a regular schedule for their volunteer work.

Through hands-on research projects, students can gain experience conducting interviews, creating and disseminating surveys, analyzing data, co-authoring reports, and more.

Carnegie Foundation Elective Classification for Community Engagement

In 2020, Central Connecticut State University became a proud holder of the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement. The Carnegie Classification® is the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education.” In 2005, the Carnegie Classifications of Higher Education expanded to include Elective Classifications. The Elective Classifications honor institutions that have made incredible strides towards a specific theme, one of which being Community Engagement.

It is not simply an award, but an evidence-based documentation of policies and practices that the University has developed and upheld. To receive the classification, Central had to prove that it has made strong commitments to instilling community engagement on an institutional level.

Central is one of 357 institutions currently classified and is up for re-classification in 2024.