Center for Community Engagement

Mission and Core Values

In 2004, the College established its first-ever mission statement. Included in the statement was the call to "educate men and women of exceptional potential from all backgrounds so that they may seek, value and advance knowledge, engage the world around them and lead principled lives of consequence."

The Center for Community Engagement plays a central role in fulfilling the College's mission to "engage the world around them" and does so in ways that raise fundamental questions about knowledge. By integrating knowledge with engagement, the Center for Community Engagement ensures that graduates are well-prepared to lead principled lives of consequence.


The Center for Community Engagement's mission is to ensure an Amherst College education provides graduates with the knowledge, skills, experiences, and civic commitment to be engaged citizens.

To accomplish this mission we:

  • Foster intentional, reciprocal relationships with community members and organizations, relationships that create the context for challenging, meaningful engagement
  • Build a community on campus and beyond that works together to solve the most vexing public problems
  • Support faculty to engage with a community in their teaching, research, scholarship and artistic production
  • Provide an educational curriculum and programming that challenges and problematizes the traditional service model
  • Build students‚ leadership skills by providing leadership opportunities, training and reflection
  • Facilitate and fund about 150 summer public service internships

Our Strategy

We work both on- and off-campus to ensure that Amherst College fulfills its mission. Our guiding principle throughout all of our work is maximum student participation.  Within this, we take three interlocking approaches:

  1. Offer CCE signature programs.

    This includes our educational community partnerships, student leadership development program, the Community Engagement Orientation Trip, public service internships, and Social Innovation Leadership Team.

  2. Act as a resource and catalyst for action to the College's departments, faculty, students, and initiatives.

    We encourage other members of the College to actively participate in community engagement. This includes  our support for faculty scholarship, community-based learning courses, the Athletics department community engagement initiative, the Student Community Engagement Fund, and many others.

  3. Facilitate relationships between alumni, students, faculty, and community partners where our role is to co-create the networking structures that are then self-regulating and self-sustaining.

    Community engagement is so much more successful when it's collaborative. At the CCE, we have a bird's eye view of the many initiatives stakeholders are taking on, and we're in the great position to facilitate new partnerships. We also work to connect students to alumni who share the same interests, including our alumni mentoring program for public service interns.