A Brief History

Minnesota Campus Compact was launched in February of 1994 with 37 college and university presidents as members. Mark Langseth, the Founding Director, previously served as Chief Operating Officer of the National Youth Leadership Council, where he led the “Minnesota Campus Service Initiative,” predecessor to Minnesota Campus Compact and the nation’s first state-wide effort to promote and support post-secondary service-learning.

Minnesota Campus Compact is affiliated with Campus Compact, a national coalition that includes 34 state affiliates and more than 1,100 college and university presidents committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact was founded in 1985 by the presidents of Brown, Georgetown, and Stanford Universities and the president of the Education Commission of the States, a national leader in educational reform.

In 2000, Minnesota Campus Compact member presidents signed the national Presidents’ Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education and approved MNCC’s Engaged Campus Vision, which invites campuses to mobilize a wide variety of human, material, and financial resources in reciprocal, ongoing partnerships with local communities and organizations. Our work thus encompasses not only service-learning, community-based participatory research, co-curricular service, community-based work-study, and other forms of student engagement, but also institutional engagement efforts.

While campuses’ civic work and partnerships vary based on the different priorities, cultures, and assets of communities and institutions around the state, through this coalition, we work towards several common goals:

  • promoting the success of Minnesota’s increasingly diverse students;
  • advancing the kinds of community-engaged learning that develop the knowledge, skills, creativity, courage, and persistence critical for work, life, and citizenship; and
  • developing innovate collaborations that advance educational and economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, public health, and other social goods.