Methodist University has been actively involved in supporting the local community since its founding in 1956. This initiative is more intentional through the creation of the Center for Community Engagement in 2012. The Center offers students opportunities to participate in measurable, time-limited, problem-solving, and community-based experiences.
Community-based internships involve individual students gaining real world experience in the job market. For example, students apply their classroom knowledge and engage in experiences that prepare them for life-long careers. Community-based internships involve teams of students solving real world problems. For example, Methodist University students coordinated a feeding project for a local nonprofit organization in the Fayetteville community. The students used their marketing skills to raise funds to support homeless assistance in the Fayetteville area. The impact beyond Methodist has been observed by our community partners.
The community engagement area of the MU Journey gives students the opportunity to engage in real world projects and career preparation. After nearly 60 years, Methodist University is continuing its emphasis on community engagement.
Benefits of Community Engagement for Students
Students who are involved in community-based projects are more marketable than the average job seeker. At Methodist, we are preparing students to become life-long learners and solid professionals.
There are two parts to the concept of Community Engagement: Problem-solving community-based internships, located in the Office of Career Services, will provide students with valuable real-world experience in the job market, and community-based internships, located in the Center for Community Engagement, which will give students opportunities to improve their local community in ways that extend beyond basic volunteerism.
Service and internship opportunities abound for MU students. These experiences help and improve the community, but the students also benefit by learning the value and beauty of service to others. Applying their classroom knowledge in these internships prepares them for a life of satisfying careers and civic involvement.
The Center for Community Engagement Today
There has never been a great university without a great community. The Center for Community Engagement brings these two forces together, as we provide opportunities for our groups of students to work on community projects, assisted by a faculty mentor and community partner. Together they will complete a project with specific outcomes that benefit the community, and in the process develop their problem-solving skills and gain an appreciation for civic engagement. Not only will this experience help prepare students for their chosen careers, but also prepare them to be engaged citizens which is so vital to American democracy.