All of us in higher education are under considerable pressure to justify the relevance and reduce the costs of our colleges and universities. While we often find ourselves on the defensive, our increasing programs and activities in community engagement strengthen our case for the significance and the value of higher education. We recognized long ago that knowledge for its own sake could no longer validate the cost of higher education. Colleges and universities needed to demonstrate that they could connect theory and practice by adapting and applying teaching and learning to transform our communities and ourselves.
For the past 25 years, the California Campus Compact (CACC) has inspired students, faculty, and administrators throughout our state to co-create teaching and learning environments that support, advance, and reward community engagement. CACC has been effective in developing an educational model that seamlessly integrates community engagement into curricular and co-curricular programs and activities.