Drawing on the Quaker tradition of service, the Center for Engagement with Communities (CEC) seeks to promote life-long learning and civic engagement in the belief that individual well-being is tied to the strength of communities.

Who We Are

The CEC is a collaboration between Whittier College and the educational, civic and public service community organizations of the greater Whittier and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Founded on the principle of reciprocity, the CEC is dedicated to deepening the practice of service and the pursuit of programs and activities based on the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge, information and resources.

Our various initiatives develop and strengthen partnerships with individuals and institutions that benefit community organizations and enhance student academic learning. Together, faculty, students and community partners identify and address important needs, encouraging a culture of civic engagement and promoting healthier and more educated communities.

Our Programs Include

  • For-credit service-learning courses, across academic departments and programs, involving more than a third of our faculty and a quarter of the student body.
  • Educational initiatives with local K-12 schools and youth-serving institutions that address the literacy, college access, physical activity, and after-school program needs of young people, including those from traditionally underserved communities.
  • Community partnerships involving direct programmatic and indirect-research projects that expand the capacity of social service community-based organizations addressing education, housing and health equity needs.
  • More than 200 student internships each academic year across the curriculum supporting the needs of for-profit and non-profit organizations.
  • Community partners’ networking workshops facilitate the exchange of ideas in order to coordinate and address issues of broad mutual concern.

Whittier College is a partner of Learn and Serve America and is funded in part by grants from the BCM Foundation, Sky Rose Foundation, the American Association of University Women, The Amy Biehl Foundation, and California Campus Compact.