Skip to main content

Our Values & Hopes


Our Values

Shared Learning. The knowledge and wisdom we gain from many sources -- national best practices, academic disciplines, and our communities -- all inform and energize our approach and enrich our outcomes.

Co-ownership. We work as a collective, actively taking responsibility for civic engagement across campus, within and between departments, and with our community partners.

Asset-based approach. We seek out and nurture the knowledge, skills, and lived experience of those involved in this work, identifying what matter most to people and then acting together for positive change.

Aspirational thinking. With community, we ponder big questions that call us to engage over time and across boundaries to transform whole systems.

Reciprocity. We seek to be in a place of mutual interdependence and exchange with our community partners.

Social Justice. We take responsibility to examine power and privilege and address inequity in the process of our civic engagement work. This requires us to think critically and examine our implicit and explicit biases.


Our Hopes

GVSU's community engagement:

• applies and amplifies the university's strategic competencies in response to community needs and interests
• builds boundary-spanning partnerships of mutual learning and benefit
• harnesses our collective strengths for measurable impact of significance to multiple stakeholders, including students, alumni, donors, elected officials, faculty, and our West Michigan communities

Our university/community partnerships attract:

• students pursuing a 21st century education that prepares them for civic responsibility and leadership in an economy in which collaboration and collective intelligence outsmart competition and control
• faculty to engaged teaching and scholarship
• funders seeking a solid return on investment
• recognition for excellence in our chosen strategic engagement efforts