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Civic Engagement

Student Involvement and Leadership's dedication to civic engagement involved educating students to be socially conscious, skilled, and committed to a just, diverse, and democratic community. Civic engagement offers a wide range of community service programs, which provide students the opportunity to be engaged, explore the root causes of social issues, foster reciprocal relationships with community members, and gain cultural competence.

Through direct service, education, and reflection, students will realize and understand the importance of civic responsibility, explore ways in which they can impact their local, national, and global communities, and become active citizens.

Why Civic Engagement?

Civic Engagement is a term used to describe activities that promote the bridging of communities with socially conscious thought and action. Our office works to build student awareness on issues impacting the community, as well as facilitate the opportunities for students to actively participate in activities of community organizations.

Get Involved with Civic Engagement Opportunities!

  • Alternative Breaks Program

    Fall and Spring, Local and National

    The Alternative Breaks Program (ABP) is a student-organized and led program that provides opportunities for students to participate in meaningful direct service activities that address critical social issues. Throughout its history, the program has experienced growth in both the number of service projects and the quality of the students' experiences. Students are encouraged to serve in communities they may be unfamiliar with, do work they may not have done before, and build relationships with people they likely would not meet otherwise. 


    This program provides an exciting opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the city of Springfield and the greater Springfield community, develop an understanding of its history and points of pride, and work closely with our community partners to support their efforts to address issues impacting our local community. 


    Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is a week-long immersion experience where students live and serve in other communities across the country as an alternative to traditional spring break destinations. ASB is a year-long commitment emphasizing self-awareness, multicultural team development, and social justice through participation in educational training and service. The purpose of ASB is for students to engage in open dialogues and learn through a process of exploring ideas and beliefs, listening to one another's experiences, observing the wisdom and talents demonstrated by others, and serving the community.

  • Bear Necessities Market

    On-Campus Food Pantry

    The Bear Necessities Market is an on-campus food pantry for students facing food insecurity and hunger.

    St. Germain Campus Center
  • Community Engagement Fair

    Meet our Community Partners!

    The Community Engagement Fair offers students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to meet with community partners looking for individuals to support their efforts to meet the needs of the community on a wide variety of issues. The fair occurs every September and is a great way to learn about where and how you can make a difference in the Springfield community. Approximately 20-25 community-based agencies attend the fair. The Community Engagement Fair is held within the first two weeks of the fall semester. If you missed the fair, don't worry! Visit the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership where they are happy to connect you with our partners.

  • Student Opportunities and Employment

    The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership provides undergraduate students with a variety of professional development opportunities, both on campus and with local service agencies in the surrounding community.


    America Reads is a service program for students to serve as tutors in the Springfield Public Schools through Springfield School Volunteers, a local non-profit. Students are provided with training to prepare them for their work as a tutor in the classroom. There are opportunities both during the day and after school. Reflection sessions are provided to encourage student dialogue around service and community issues, as well as provide an opportunity for students to voice concerns or discuss challenges that arise. There are both work-study and volunteer positions available for students.


    Cub Connections is our on-campus tutoring program, and a branch of America Reads. This program provides an opportunity for our students to mentor area youth, as well as assist with homework completion and enrichment programs for students middle to high school age. There are both work-study and volunteer positions available for students.


    Student Assistants works directly with professional staff in the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership on various civic engagement initiatives and programs. Positions are available to students with work-study only.

    Are you looking to get more involved in the community? Come to the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership and learn about the available opportunities. SIL works hard to pair students with an opportunity that best matches their interests.