Center for College and Community Engagement

At Alma, transformation happens in the classroom and in the community. Find purpose, deepen your connections and be a part of building a just and sustainable world.

Pursue a purposeful life.

Founded in 2021, the Center for College and Community Engagement (3CE) offers students opportunities to engage, learn and grow in partnership with the local community.

You might mentor local youth, serve meals at the Community Cafe or support ecological restoration during an Alternative Break.

In the classroom, you’ll deepen your understanding of social justice and civic engagement through your coursework. In doing so, you’ll learn how to be an agent of change, empowering you to pursue a purposeful life.

 

Community Engagement

At Alma, we promote a scaffolded approach to community engagement. You’ll participate in direct service during your first year, focusing on food security, education, housing, environmental stewardship or diversity, equity and inclusion. In your second and third years, you’ll dig deeper into the issues you’re addressing, bringing your learning into the classroom. You’ll graduate with the skills necessary to create sustained, impactful change.

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks allow you to learn about social justice issues while engaging in direct, hands-on service in regional and global communities. Alternative Breaks span a broad range of themes, issues and locations. You might assist with conservation efforts at Joshua Tree National Park and then volunteer to maintain local trails and nature areas. You could join mid-Michigan partners working to alleviate food insecurity or travel to support disaster relief efforts. No matter what your interest is, there is an Alternative Break opportunity for you!

Community-Engaged Learning

In community-engaged courses developed by Alma faculty in collaboration with 3CE, you’ll dive into fundamental civic questions and examine sustainable solutions and explore how we can better meet societal needs. You’ll explore topics like public advocacy and environmental stewardship. And you’ll build skills like research, volunteer management and program development, preparing you for a lifetime of leadership.

Internships and Job Opportunities

Through 3CE-sponsored internships, you’ll apply everything you’re learning in the classroom and community to build capacity for a local nonprofit or agency. You’ll gain insight into how community organizations function and develop problem-solving, critical thinking and communications skills that will equip you to make an even greater impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is academic service learning?

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Academic service learning courses include meaningful community service, a clear connection between course objectives and service activities and structured opportunities for reflection for the enhancement of academic learning.

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How do I sign up for an academic Service Learning course?

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Many Alma courses include a service learning component. Students register for these courses through the standard registration process.

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I’d like to volunteer, but how do I get involved?

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Members of the mid-Michigan community can find and sign up for volunteer opportunities on the Golden platform which is managed by the local branch of the United Way. Download the Golden app or visit https://volunteer.uwgic.org. Sign up for the app using your Alma College email address and add Alma College as an affiliation so that you can track your volunteer hours toward your campus goals and we can share invitations and updates to volunteer events host by or affiliated with the college.

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I’ve got an idea for a service project. How do I get it off the ground?

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We believe in student empowerment! So if you have the time and are committed to your idea, the 3CE staff will partner with you to make it a reality. The majority of our service projects are initiated and coordinated by students and student organizations who engage with a community partner. 3CE will be glad to connect you to other students, faculty, staff, community partners, and funding sources that may be interested in your idea.

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What kind of volunteer opportunities are out there?

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The 3CE Office offers community service work study jobs, assists with local volunteer placements and supports special service event/projects on campus; including but not limited to: Alternative Break, College Positive Volunteers, Community Café Partnership, Red Cross Blood Drives & Bone Marrow Registrations, Kid’s Night Out, Make a Difference Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Relay for Life.

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Contact Us

Co-Directors of 3CE

Carla Jensen
jensencr@alma.edu
(989) 463-7421

 

Ben Peterson
petersonbl@alma.edu
(989) 463-7291