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Strategic Plan, 2020-2025


A more just and equitable world cultivated through the participation of all people in the co-creation of knowledge and collective action.


The Center for Civic Engagement connects students, faculty, staff, and alumni with local, national, and global communities through meaningful civic engagement to promote the lifelong learning and development of active community members.

Core Values

The Center for Civic Engagement affirms Illinois State University’s core values as stated in Educate Connect Elevate: Illinois State—The Strategic Plan for Illinois’ First Public University 2018–2023:

  • Civic Engagement—We value civic engagement as an active lifelong learning experience that prepares students to be informed and engaged global citizens who collaborate with their communities.
  • Learning and Scholarship—We value the co-creation of knowledge through civically engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship.
  • Diversity and Inclusion—We value civic engagement’s role in the exploration of privilege, oppression, and social identities and the advancement of equity and inclusion.
  • Respect—We value the contributions and voices of communities and individuals.
  • Collaboration—We value mutually beneficial and reciprocal partnerships.
  • Individualized Attention—We value the unique needs and contributions of individuals as they explore their passions and learn to engage with their communities.
  • Integrity—We value the development of ethical leaders and scholars who work with their communities to create a public impact.

As a member of Campus Compact, we also affirm their five commitments to advance the public purpose of higher education:

  • We empower our students, faculty, staff, and community partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable future for communities beyond the campus—nearby and around the world.
  • We prepare our students for lives of engaged citizenship, with the motivation and capacity to deliberate, act, and lead in pursuit of the public good.
  • We embrace our responsibilities as place-based institutions, contributing to the health and strength of our communities—economically, socially, environmentally, educationally, and politically.
  • We harness the capacity of our institutions—through research, teaching, partnerships, and institutional practice—to challenge the prevailing social and economic inequalities that threaten our democratic future.
  • We foster an environment that consistently affirms the centrality of the public purposes of higher education by setting high expectations for members of the campus community to contribute to their achievement.

GOAL 1: Embrace our Redbird Impact

Elevate Illinois State’s identity as an institution anchored in our community participating in shared problem-solving.

  • STRATEGY 1: Collaborate within Illinois State University, across local higher education institutions, and throughout the community to explore solutions that honor community strengths while addressing needs.
  • STRATEGY 2: Create and sustain campus-community partnerships that are focused on mutual benefit, reciprocity, and co-production of knowledge.
  • STRATEGY 3: Acknowledge and celebrate campus-community partnerships.
  • STRATEGY 4: Elevate political conversations and engagement across campus to support antiracism and equity

GOAL 2: Transform the Student Experience

Create new and enhanced opportunities for civic development to educate students for responsible, lifelong civic engagement.

  • STRATEGY 1: Educate students about the various forms of ethical civic engagement by increasing its systemic integration within curricula and co-curricula.
  • STRATEGY 2: Explore opportunities, partnerships, and needs for co-curricular civic engagement programming.
  • STRATEGY 3: Participate in the development and integration of civic engagement courses and designations.

GOAL 3: Foster Faculty/Staff Engagement

Recognize and reward the everyday and extraordinary civic engagement of faculty and staff.

  • STRATEGY 1: Support, cultivate, and recognize engaged research/creative activity.
  • STRATEGY 2: Encourage civic engagement among faculty and staff throughout all four divisions of the University.

GOAL 4: Strengthen Infrastructure

Align center infrastructure to enhance civic engagement and its impact across the campus and community.

  • STRATEGY 1: Evaluate center staffing structure and physical space to ensure adequate capacity for center and institutional civic engagement endeavors.
  • STRATEGY 2: Integrate the American Democracy Project/Political Engagement Project and the Civic Engagement and Responsibility Minor into center operations.
  • STRATEGY 3: Explore external funding to support civic engagement initiatives.
  • STRATEGY 4: Elevate campus civic engagement initiatives through strategic marketing and communication.
  • STRATEGY 5: Enhance the assessment of civic engagement and its impact on students, faculty/staff, the institution, and the community.