Civic Engagement at Wagner College

At Wagner College, civic engagement takes on many forms. We believe that engagement begins with people who decide to learn together, become more committed, and become better able to support the well being of communities through democratic and collaborative work.

Higher education has an historic commitment to promote the public good. Aligned with Wagner College’s Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts, the civic engagement mission is to serve as an intellectual, practical, and ethical resource, connecting the Wagner College campus community with institutional and organizational partners on Staten Island and beyond, which share our commitment to confronting complex social, economic, and political issues through democratic engagement.

Minor in Civic Engagement

The intersection of academics and practical experience upholds Wagner’s commitment to nurturing civically engaged students. Students have the option to enhance their academic journeys through community experience by minoring in Civic Engagement to develop a civic identity and provide future employers with concrete evidence of students’ commitment and experience in civic engagement.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

In recognition of Campus Compact‘s 30th anniversary in 2015-16, their Board of Directors asked member presidents and chancellors to join in signing an Action Statement, a declaration of shared commitment to the public purposes of higher education and a promise to develop a Campus Civic Action Plan to realize those purposes more fully.

Since then, more than 450 Presidents and Chancellors have signed on, committing their campuses to create and publicly share Civic Action Plans within a year. Wagner College is a proud Campus Compact member and one of the institutions that committed to create a Civic Action Plan for our college.

For more information contact:

Dr. Bernadette Ludwig

Associate Professor, Sociology Department

718-390-3487 Parker Hall 210

Associate Professor of Sociology
Director of Civic Engagement
Director of Civic Engagement Minor
pronouns: she/her

Taviare L. Hawkins

Associate Provost, Office of the Provost 4th floor Union

Passionate educator and researcher. Service-centered advocate for the participation of women and people of color in STEM.