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Center for Civic & Community Engagement

Civic Engagement logo multiple hands raised in air 


In support of the SMSU Mission, the Center for Civic & Community Engagement connects academic programs with community needs to use scholarship and action for the mutual benefit of the University, its communities, and its diverse peoples. The Center serves as the intersection between student learning, faculty research, and community engagement. It is committed to illuminating the variety of ways in which SMSU strives to make civic and community engagement integral to learning experiences campus-wide. 

SMSU Mission

“Southwest Minnesota State University prepares students to meet the complex challenges of this century as engaged citizens in their local and global communities….”

 What does “engaged citizen” mean?

            “Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes”. - Preface, page vi

             A morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own; such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate. - Introduction, page xxvi

(Source: Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000.)


 constitution graphic

Constitution Day: Friday, September 17, 2021

Join us for programming from September 14-20, 2021

  • Tuesday, September 14 - Monday, September 20: Constitution Display
    • The McFarland Library will have the Constitution (in book form) and other library resources related to the Constitution on display.
  • Tuesday, September 14 - Monday , September 20
    • Constitution Day Window Display - Center for Civic & Community Engagement BA 161
      • Stop by the Center for Civic & Community Engagement in BA 161 to pick up a pocket sized Constitution of U.S. Constitution Crossword Puzzle or check them out here.



Friday, September 17, 12:00-1:00 p.m. - American Democracy Project's National Constitution Day Conversation. 
(Free and open to all higher education students, faculty, and staff. Registration required.) Designed to reach across differences, this hour-long event, hosted by AASCU’s American Democracy Project and the New York Times, creates a space for open discussion of the U.S. Constitution. This national facilitated dialogue is based on the fundamental value of the pursuit of knowledge for the public good. We will provide access to information about the U.S. Constitution, but you need not be an expert to enjoy this event and to share in the lively conversation. Open to all higher education students, faculty, and staff. Bring your classes and student organizations, and join us for this national dialogue. Register Now

Friday, September 17, 12:00-1:00 p.m.  - "The People's Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union" hosted by the National Archives, (Free. Registration required. An archived recording will be available on YouTube.) Authors John Kowal and Wilfred Codrington III will discuss how generations have reshaped our founding document—the U.S. Constitution—amid some of the most colorful, contested, and controversial battles in American political life. It’s a story of how We the People have improved our government’s structure and expanded the scope of our democracy during eras of transformational social change. Learn more and register.

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