Center for Engagement with Communities


Continuing a proud tradition of community engagement—a hallmark of a Whittier College education, dating back to 1915—the Center for Engagement with Communities (CEC) promotes course-based service learning, for-credit internships tied to programmatic requirements, and faculty-student research on issues that both address compelling needs in the community and enhance academic learning, both here and abroad. 

Ongoing service learning initiatives highlight collaborations between the College and community-based organizations throughout the region, while student internships across the curriculum are secured in nonprofit organizations. The CEC’s applied learning emphasis embodies the College’s founding mission to graduate educated citizens primed to make smart decisions and serve communities, locally and globally.    

The CEC supports more than 25 for-credit service-learning courses across ten academic departments, directed by a quarter of the College’s faculty and involving a quarter of the student body. The Center also manages six co-curricular programs that both provide leadership opportunities for our students and promote education related initiatives (developed in partnership with local K-12 schools and youth-serving institutions) that address the literacy, college access, physical activity, and after-school program needs of children and young people in the local community.

Through the work of the CEC, Whittier College has been designated an “engaged campus” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and has been named by the Corporation for National and Community Service to the “President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.”