A Tradition of Community Engagement

"...within the context of an ethnically and culturally diverse community, Baylor strives to develop responsible citizens, educated leaders, dedicated scholars, and skilled professionals who are sensitive to the needs of a pluralistic society. To those ends, Baylor provides expanded opportunities for civic education and for church and community service at home and abroad."—Baylor Mission
"Recognizing that its sphere of Christian influence is the world itself, Baylor must prepare its graduates to enter a pluralistic and global society."—First sentence of Baylor 2012 Imperative XI: Emphasizing Global Education

These statements represent the heart of the mission of Baylor as a socially conscious university. In meeting the goals put forward in these two statements, Baylor has tasked itself with educating students to be culturally literate in the pluralistic society in which they live and will be leaders upon graduation.

A New Model

In August of 2010, the Service-Learning/ Community Service (SLCS) Initiative Team was established by the Vice President for Student Life. The team was charged with studying the landscape of community engagement and service currently existing at Baylor University. The team was composed of faculty, staff, AmeriCorps VISTA workers, and students to bring diverse and inclusive perspectives from both Academic Affairs and the Division of Student Life. The team, led by the Dean for Student Development, met every two weeks during the fall and spring semesters. Their goals were to explore existing initiatives, clarify terminology, and identify best practices, potential partners, and community needs. May 2011 was established as the report deadline when recommendations to be completed by the end of Spring 2011 and include recommendations for a model most conducive to serving the community through service, research, programs, events, and initiatives. This model would provide an efficient and effective exchange of resources, experiences, application, transformation, and education. The hope was to raise awareness, increase collaboration, and identify gaps between University endeavors and community needs.

Service-Learning/ Community Engagement Initiatives Team Report - April 2011

A New Direction: Pro Futuris