Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through Learning, Celebration, and Service

Minnesota Campus Compact members organized a variety of thoughtful programming during the week of January 17, 2017, celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, learning about current issues of race and justice in our state, and showcasing the plethora of options students have to engage with their communities. Here’s a small sample of activities: Augsburg College  Augsburg College held its 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. This year’s theme was “Renewing King’s Call for Social Justice, Equality, and Inclusion, in an Age of Demagoguery.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds, a civil rights attorney and legal scholar on issues of race, public policy,…

Building Meaningful Classroom Connections

“Not only did partnering with Brightside give us an opportunity to have real time discussions about what challenges organizations face, it allowed us to think bigger than ourselves, about our community and the good work that is being done and needs to be expanded.”

January Update – New Community Engagement Resources

Articles, Books, and Journals The Benefits of Gender Balance in a System’s Presidential Offices by Anne Blackhurst, Joyce Ester, Connie Gores, and Barbara McDonald Critical Competences for Social Impact Leaders by Romy Kraemer Engaging Learning Through Student Activism by Stephen G. Pelletier Engaging Urban Universities as Anchor Institutions for Health Equity by Ira Harkavy Engaged Research and Practice edited by Betty Overton, Penny A. Pasque, John C. Burkhardt Higher Education’s Post-Election Voice by Pete Mackey In Tumultuous Times, Colleges Can Do What They Do Best by Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh The Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, 2016 edited by Alexis Petri, and Tabitha Underwood More universities…

Top Ten of 2016


When the Minnesota Campus Compact staff thinks about what we’re grateful for, the first answer is always going to be the thousands of people in this network who are dedicated to doing their work and living their lives in ways that contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable state, transformative educational experiences, new knowledge, and more engaged citizens. That gratitude list wouldn’t fit in a top ten, so instead we’re naming (in order of chronology, not significance) ten aspects of MNCC’s work over the last year that sustain our spirits and show the potential in our collective commitment to the…

Cultivating Critical Thinking in Difficult Discussion: Tools and Techniques

In this line of work, we talk a lot about engaging across difference and having difficult conversations. Since the divisive presidential election, we’ve heard from colleagues that this is more imperative than ever, and the stakes are high. These conversations are made more complex by considerations of trigger warnings, academic freedom, and questions of what constitutes hate speech. In the midst of all of this, we’re also hearing from some of you that students and communities are eager to move to action. Many of us are left with more questions than answers: How do we connect listening and action? How…

Three Years of Dedicated Work

As a VISTA with the Youth Violence Prevention (YVP) team for the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD), I get to do all sorts of things but my favorite piece of the puzzle is Next Step.

Moving Forward After the Election: Resources for Campuses

Many of us are thinking today about how to engage campus communities in moving forward after the election. Though we operate in distinct institutional contexts, we may be able to draw upon one another’s work.  Our staff offers a few words and resources from the Campus Compact network, below, and invites your suggestions as comments to this post. Please also feel welcome to reach out to our staff at sinda {at} mncampuscompact(.)org or 612-436-2080. Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow shared a letter to his campus on the morning of November 9, 2016, which frames our work in a helpful way: As I…

New December Community Engagement Resources

Books, Journals, and Articles Five Things Student Affairs Professionals Can Do To Institutionalize Civic Engagement by Laura E. Sponsler and Matthew Hartley The Optimal Town-Gown Marriage: Taking Campus-Community Outreach and Engagement to the Next Level by Stephen M. Gavazzi Journal on Anchor Institutions and Communities inaugural issue from the Anchor Institutions Task Force Crossover Pedagogy: A Rationale for a New Teaching Partnership Between Faculty and Student Affairs Leaders on College Campuses by Robert Nash, Jennifer J. J. Jang, and Patricia C. Nguyen Diversity and Democracy, Fall 2016, Vol. 19, No. 4, Community-Engaged Signature Work edited by Kathryn Peltier Campbell Concerned about Democracy? Focus on the Liberal Arts by John…

5 Take-Aways from the 2016 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis

By Gavin Luter, Executive Director, Wisconsin Campus Compact  How can you have a coherent community engagement data collection framework? A great preconference session put on by a team of folks from IUPUI, IN Campus Compact, and consultants framed how to go about putting together a campus strategy for assessing and tracking community engagement data.  They offered a helpful DATA PLANNING FRAMEWORK and a Google Drive FOLDER complete with many helpful resources.  (Special shout-out to Anne Weiss from INCC who represented Compact Nation very well!) What do you have to show for all that data? IUPUI has launched a public tool…

Increased Access to Local Produce in Southwest Minnesota

While the farmers market season may be coming to a close, for one VISTA project it is only the beginning of something new; increased access to produce for low-income residents.

Congratulations to Minnesota Campuses Named to President’s Honor Roll

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. The Honor Roll’s Presidential Award is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning, and civic engagement. CNCS has administered the award since 2006 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core. The President’s Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions…

October Update: New Community Resources

Books, Journals and Articles Doing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, edited by Jacqueline M. Dewar and Curtis D. Bennett -includes chapters on engaged teaching and learning Emerging Interfaith Trends: What College Students Are Saying About Religious Diversity created by Interfaith Youth Core Hispanic-Serving State Colleges And Universities Aim to Boost Political, Civic Engagement article adapted from story by Michelle Davis How Should We Prevent Mass Shootings In Our Communities? created by National Issues Forum In their own words: After collecting its 200th story, U of M center to expand ‘Immigrant Stories’ initiative across country by Gregg Aamot Much More Than Money by Devorah Lieberman What…

And the Work Continues for CHC VISTA Alum

Michaela Read was the 2015-16 VISTA for CARE Clinic in Red Wing, Minnesota.Read’s responsibility as the VISTA at CARE was to build capacity through fundraising to expand existing programs and hours and to extend the reach of CARE to include all Goodhue County community members.

“Engage the Village”: Partnerships (and VISTAs) to Support Low-Income Student Success

Concern about financial barriers to college enrollment and completion is widespread these days, for good reasons. In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Temple University faculty member Sara Goldrick-Rab identifies significant problems with higher education policy but also steps that colleges and universities can take “right now”: First, colleges can do a better job of assessing students’ readiness to learn. . . . Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: food, housing, safety, and sleep must be assured before we can move on to higher-order tasks. Second, colleges can listen to students and give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are…

September Update: New Community Engagement Resources


Books, Journals, Articles: Civic Labors: Scholar Activism and Working Class Studies edited by Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, and John W. McKerley Civic Professionalism: A Pathway to Practical Wisdom for the Liberal Arts by Amy Kortiz and Paul Schadewald Community-Based Reseach edited by Mary Beckman and Joyce F. Long Engagement Champions by David J. Weerts Integrating Values Into Your Career by Laura N. Schram Public: A Journal of Imagining America, issue on Globally Engaged Pedagogy, Research, and Creative Practice edited by Ifeoma K. Nwankwo, Jeffrey Hou, Jan Cohen-Cruz Re-envisioning Education and Democracy by Ruthanne Kurht-Schai and Charles R. Green Science Education and Civic Engagement: An International…

Imagining a Higher Ed 2.0: Lessons from College Unbound

College Unbound

by Julie Plaut This summer I interviewed a few leaders outside our network whose experiences and knowledge might inform our work. Since many MNCC members want to better serve the “non-traditional” college students who now represent a majority—and thus contribute to a more equitable society—one of the people I contacted is College Unbound’s provost, Adam Bush. This Rhode Island nonprofit’s mission is “to reinvent higher education for underrepresented returning adult learners, using a model that is individualized, interest-based, project-driven, workplace-enhanced, cohort-supported, flexible, supportive, and affordable.” An engaged scholar, an Imagining America board member, and a recipient of the American Democracy…

United by Shared Commitments: Civic Action Planning Across Minnesota

Winona State Unviersity Team

Eleven Minnesota campuses convened for MNCC civic action planning sessions hosted at Augsburg College and Winona State University in June, 2016, including representatives from Augsburg College, Century College, the College of St. Benedict, Concordia University – St. Paul, Inver Hills Community College, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, St. John’s University, the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, the University of Minnesota Rochester, and Winona State University. Though representing a range of institutional types, common commitments connect their planning, which became particularly evident at the Winona State University session taking place aboard the Cal Fremling floating classroom….

SMSU Leadership Focuses on High Impact Practices

President Connie J. Gores

High Impact Practices, including community-based learning, are a key measure of success at Southwest Minnesota State University, according to In a February 27, 2016 Marshall Independent article, by President Connie J. Gores, a member of the Minnesota Campus Compact Board of Directors. The article is reprinted below in full: For college students of today, the college experience involves much more than classroom learning. Students are also given the opportunity to learn outside the classroom through meaningful interactions with faculty, collaborations with other diverse groups, study abroad, internships, field experiences, and student teaching. These undergraduate opportunities have a significant impact on the overall student…

Jay Barnes and Bethel Advance Faith-Based Community Engagement

Barnes image

by Tom Connery Near the end of the spring semester, anyone leaving the Bethel University parking lot could glance across the street and see in a window of Heritage Hall, a student residence, the smiling, bearded face of Bethel’s president, Jay Barnes. Not a single message, picture, or piece of artwork appeared in any of the other windows. Yet there was Barnes, the same shot of him that’s on the school’s website but poster- size in a dorm window. It shouldn’t be surprising if some might consider Barnes the “face” of the university, and it’s not just because he’s president….

August Update: New Community Engagement Resources

Books, Journals, Articles: 10 Dilemmas in Teaching with Discussion: Managing Integral Instruction by Jody S. Piro (IAP) Beyond Retention: Cultivating Spaces of Equity, Justice, and Fairness for Women of Color in U.S. Higher Education edited by Brenda L. H. Marina and Sabrina N. Ross (IAP) Civic Engagement and Community Service at Research Universities: Engaging Undergraduates for Social Justice, Social Change, and Responsible Citizenship edited by Krista M. Soria and Tania D. Mitchell (University of Minnesota faculty) Developing an Active Citizenry Through Student Public Engagement by Michelle R. Davis (AASCU’s Public Purpose) Internships Are Not a Privilege by Darren Walker (New York Times) Public Spending, by…

  • update-img

    Get updates on what's new with Minnesota Campus Compact