Serving and Learning in Classroom and Community

Sept. 11, 2008Bookmark and Share

Columbia University has a longstanding history of community service and engagement. Today, public service and hands-on involvement in our local, national and global communities is an essential part of both academic and professional life at the University. Columbia students, faculty and staff are working together and individually to address environmental and social challenges, as well as the needs of underserved communities in a range of areas, including health care and education.

Each year, Columbia students at the undergraduate and graduate levels participate in service learning, volunteer action and social entrepreneurship programs around the world. Columbia College's unique Core Curriculum emphasizes a well-rounded undergraduate education that not only helps students develop their critical thinking skills, but also nurtures in them the responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society. At the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, incoming freshman are immediately involved in community-based learning programs.
Columbia faculty members and researchers across a broad spectrum of disciplines conduct pioneering research that seeks to improve the well-being of people locally and globally. Generations of alumni have been leaders in government and public service, matching their professional accomplishments with civic commitment. And thousands of staff members also contribute time and resources to our community, both through University-organized programs as well as through their own initiatives.
Given its dedication to civic engagement, Columbia University was honored to host ServiceNation on Sept. 11, 2008, an event that served to highlight the importance of individual and collective public service. Columbia has also joined colleges and universities from across the five boroughs in the NYC Service College Challenge, an initiative sponsored by the Office of the Mayor to promote local volunteer service among the city's collegiate students, faculty and staff.
To learn more about Columbia's diverse range of civic engagement and public service initiatives, we invite you to visit one of the many programs listed here or visit the special issue of The Record.


Columbia: Serving & Learning
Image credits: Elena Olivo (1), Alan Dindas (2), Eileen Barroso (4)