The Center for Leadership and Engagement is guided by the Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts and builds upon Wagner College's long-standing tradition of academic excellence and dedication to civic involvement. The mission of the CLE will always be a work in progress, as we are needs-driven, constantly evolving and adapting to the shifting priorities of the community and college. Above all, we are committed to deepening student learning, sustaining civic participation, and bringing about positive social change.
To achieve this mission, we affirm that the following core values should be embraced: diversity awareness, democracy, social responsibility, spiritual exploration, community building, leadership, and reflective practice. Below is our understanding of these values and how we believe they can be enacted.
- Diversity Awareness: Recognizing, understanding, and appreciating people across multiple differences, including race, religion, socio-economic status, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and age, and ensuring that all Wagner members have a variety of college and community-based experiences.
- Democracy: Appreciating the value of hearing everyone's voice and basing decisions and actions on consulting widely with others, while also recognizing the importance of being an active participant in supporting and advocating for important social issues.
- Social Responsibility: This value affirms that we have an obligation to be helpful to others and use our knowledge to ensure that all people, without exception, enjoy access to the resources they need to develop themselves as fully as possible.
- Spiritual Exploration: Setting aside space to consider different ways of understanding meaning and purpose in life and to explore how our search for a calling can help us to identify and actualize our ultimate life purpose.
- Community Building: Working together for the common good is the end that community building seeks to serve. It entails close listening, constructive dialogue, respectful expression of our differences, and an ongoing search for common ground. It is the basis for effective and sustainable community renewal.
- Leadership: At the Center, we believe that everyone can be a leader and that being a follower is also one important side of leadership. We therefore seek to provide all community members with multiple opportunities to guide new initiatives and advocate for positive change, while also recognizing that leaders cannot be effective without followers.
- Reflective Practice: We believe that learning from experience is not automatic. It must be accompanied by time and space for both individual and group reflection. Looking back at what has been experienced, assessing its impact, weighing the benefits, and considering how power dynamics affect the outcomes are all keys to effective engagement with our communities. Reflective practice is a foundation for self-development and a catalyst for community.