Center for Leadership & Engagement

Wagner College is a national leader in civic engagement, serving as a model for liberal arts education that connects teaching and learning with public work in and with our broader community. The Center for Leadership and Engagement (CLE) is guided by the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts and builds upon Wagner’s long-standing tradition of academic excellence and dedication to civic engagement.

The CLE's programs include Bonner Leaders, IMPACT Scholars Civic Network, Project Pericles, and a collaborative effort among the CLE, Athletics, and the Center for Academic and Career Engagement--the MOVE program. The CLE also supports engagement efforts for student organizations, with Wagner Cares being an example of such work.Additionally, there are many opportunities to participate in national conversations about higher education and civic engagement through Wagner's inclusion in such associations and consortia as the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, Imagining AmericaNational Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, The New American Colleges & Universities, New York Campus CompactAssociation of American Colleges & Universities, and Bringing Theory to Practice.

The CLE works closely with the Office of the Dean of Integrated Learning, which overseas the Wagner Plan and its experiential learning component, and helps faculty and students connect learning with the community. This happens in a variety of settings, but is most strongly demonstrated through Wagner's Port Richmond Partnership, a commitment to a community located on Staten Island in New York City, just a few miles away from the campus of Wagner College. A powerful example of this partnership was embodied in a community theater project that brought residents of Port Richmond and Wagner community members together to address serious and timely community issues. More recently, we have helped sponsor a transnational program that is reconnecting Port Richmond residents with their family in Mexico. They recently celebrated being together at the San Jeronimo Carnaval in Port Richmond.

It is because of such work, in part, that U.S. News & World Report identified Wagner College in its “Best Colleges 2014” report as the only college or university in New York State with 4 or more “programs to look for” — and 1 of only 7 such schools nationwide. These programs were: first-year experience, internships, learning communities, and service learning. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll has recognized Wagner every year since the honor's inception in 2006, receiving further distinction four of those seven years. Additionally, Wagner College received the Community Engagement Classification designation from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2008 as having substantial commitments in both curricular engagement as well as outreach and partnerships. Related, the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, an independent nonprofit educational organization, awarded Wagner College in 2010 with the New York Life Higher Education Civic Engagement Award. The award recognizes institutions that are achieving breadth and depth of civic engagement through mutually transformational partnerships that address issues of public concern at any level from the local to the global.

In addition to Wagner's focus on the development of student's as civic leaders, the Center also supports faculty scholarship through workshops, lectures, and resources to better enable faculty members to contribute to Wagner's role as an engaged institution.

The CLE is constantly evolving and adapting to the shifting priorities of the community and College. In doing so, it initiates and sustains collaboration and partnerships among Wagner students, faculty, staff, Staten Island residents, and other regional and national partners. Above all, we are committed to deepening student learning, cultivating and sustaining civic participation, and bringing about positive social change.

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