“You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course. You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time–not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”
– Barrack Obama, 2nd Inaugural Address
Wagner College believes that civic engagement begins with people who decide to put aside their individual interests to work and learn together democratically and grow into informed and active citizens more committed and better able to support the well being of communities.
The range of civic engagement options includes but is not limited to: direct service, internships with neighborhood organizations, place-based research and circulation of findings, public policy advocacy, regular participation in meetings and community forums, and ongoing discussion and deliberation about pressing social challenges.
As an institution of higher education, Wagner College supports the development of a civically engaged academic environment by deepening relationships among students, faculty, staff, and community members through classroom, co-curricular, and place-based learning. In all of these contexts, it is vital to reflect critically on experience and to relate new insights to both local and global concerns. At its best, college-supported civic engagement increases motivation to go on learning, raises civic consciousness and commitment, fosters empowerment through hands-on participation that addresses community-identified issues, and supports the continuing improvement of our overall quality of life.