About Us


of Nazareth undergraduate students participate in community engagement, addressing local and global challenges


The Weider staff connected 800 students with 70 organizations/partners for service experiences, social innovation design, changemaking resources, social justice action, and exploring jobs with impact (2022-23).


Nationally Recognized

Washington Monthly, NASPA (the leading national association of student affairs administrators in higher education), the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, and the Carnegie Foundation have recognized Nazareth's sophisticated, successful approach to community engagement.

What We Do

We enhance students' college experience by offering a variety of community service opportunities, academic service-learning courses, and other community engagement initiatives — locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

Nazareth is nationally recognized for leading the way for colleges engaged with the community. Nazareth's latest innovative efforts include the New American Colleges & Universities Civic Engagement Collaborative as well as the Clinton Global Initiative University.

What is Community Engagement?

Community engagement at Nazareth University is a form of experiential learning in which students participate in individual and/or collective actions that are designed to identify and address issues of public concern. It can be for credit or not for credit. Students “test out” concepts and theories and become agents of their own learning in transformative ways while exploring their roles in the local and global communities through reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnerships with community-based organizations.

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts:

Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual voluntarism to organizational involvement to electoral participation. It can include efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem or interact with the institutions of representative democracy. Civic engagement encompasses a range of specific activities such as working in a soup kitchen, serving on a neighborhood association, writing a letter to an elected official or voting. Indeed, an underlying principle of our approach is that an engaged citizen should have the ability, agency and opportunity to move comfortably among these various types of civic acts.
Source: Michael Delli Carpini, Director, Public Policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Get Involved

The programs page outlines many opportunities for non-credit bearing civic engagement opportunities. The Center for Service-Learning outlines opportunities that are credit-bearing engagement opportunities.

Characteristics of Community Engagement
  • Mutually beneficial partnerships that respect the strengths, resources and challenges of all partners
  • Can be credit bearing or non-credit bearing, direct and indirect, one-time and on-going
  • Engage participants in a process of self-reflection as well as critical analysis of the world
  • Involve a cultural of humility and an understanding of and respect for diversity
  • A form of experiential education that links theory to practice
  • Develops professional competencies

Experiential Learning

Community engagement activities are one way that students fulfill the experiential learning core requirement at Nazareth College.


The mission of the Weider Community Engagement office is to empower students to develop the understanding, commitment, and confidence to lead fully informed and actively engaged lives.

Weider Community Engagement does this by:

  • Leading students through a developmental pathway of engagement opportunities that fosters citizenship, social responsibility, leadership and career readiness.
  • Coordinating strong reciprocal community partnerships that actively engage Nazareth students locally and globally
  • Mentoring students, faculty, staff and community to design, implement, and assess the impact of civic engagement initiatives that meet community-identified needs

Weider Community Engagement leads and advocates for the civic mission of higher education and Nazareth College.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students gain awareness of and are able to articulate a deep understanding of their own experiences & intentions, strengths & limitations, insights & biases. 

Students act on this personal awareness, investing in continued growth to promote a just/equitable society.  

Students will apply knowledge from multiple disciplines and experiences to new, complex situations.  

Students will engage in critical practices and discussions about privilege, inclusivity, and difference.  

Students feel a sense of belonging and contribute to creating a sense of belonging for others.  

National Recognition Details

Nazareth is nationally recognized for exemplary community service and meaningful outcomes:

  • The Washington Monthly magazine's 2017 Best Master's Universities rankings place Nazareth College at No. 7 nationwide in community service participation and hours served.
  • In 2016, NASPA, the leading national association of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, selected Nazareth for its 2015-2016 NASPA Grand Silver Medal Excellence Award. This Award, one of the three highest national NASPA awards, recognized the College for program excellence for its Partners for Learning and Partners for Serving programs. 
  • Nazareth College was one of five colleges nationally named as a Presidential Awardee in the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to community service and civic engagement, and was a Finalist for the Presidential Award for the last three years. Nazareth College has been named to the honor roll since its inception in 2006.
  • The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected Nazareth for its 2015 Community Engagement classification. This recognizes the College's sophisticated approach to community engagement, including truly collaborative partnerships, assessing the impact of this civic work, and collecting ongoing feedback for improvement. Nazareth was first selected to this classification in 2008.