Center for Community Engagement

Program Overview

“The interweaving of service into leadership and other involvement experiences has the potential to increase leadership learning dramatically.” - J.P. Dugan1

The Community Engagement Leader program prepares students to be Amherst College alumni who link learning with leadership to the College, to their communities, and to the world beyond.

Program Goals

  1.  Develop the skills, knowledge, and values necessary to provide effective leadership and management.
    • Leaders achieve this goal by leading and managing other student volunteers, planning events, and participating in trainings and meetings. 
    • Leaders develop a greater understanding of their own strengths, talents, and passions
  2. Make community engagement the norm at Amherst College. Leaders achieve this goal by:
    • strengthening sustainable, mutually beneficial, long-term community partnerships and initiatives that facilitate positive social change
    • increasing opportunities for engagement by collaborating with student groups and college departments
    • increasing the visibility, awareness and recognition of community engagement work

Types of Community Engagement Leaders

  • Educational partnership leaders, who are responsible for all aspects of operation and organization of the student volunteers who work with our educational community partners
  • Athletics liaisons, who connect athletes and coaches to the resources of the CCE

Time commitment

 The CEL program requires a significant commitment. In order to build a cohesive team and take on long-term projects and initiatives, the CCE prefers that applicants commit to participating in the program for a minimum of their next three (3) on campus semesters. The three semesters need not be consecutive.  For example, a student may choose to study abroad during their time as a CEL, and in fact, studying abroad is highly encouraged.


Community Engagement Leader positions are paid positions, and Leaders are paid hourly in accordance with the CCE student pay scale (approximately $8.50-$9.75/hour). Actual time spent doing direct community service work (e.g., tutoring) is considered separate, and is not paid by the CCE. However, if a student receives Federal Work Study, s/he may be eligible to be paid for direct service hours. Students need to check with the Financial Aid office to find out about eligibility.

Still have questions?

For additional information, contact Karen Miller, Associate Director of the CCE and Director of Leadership Programs, at 413-542-2931 or

1Dugan, J.P. (2006). Involvement and leadership: A descriptive analysis of socially responsible leadership. Journal of College Student Development, 47(3), 335-343.