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Community Engagement at Marian University

Preparing transformative leaders for service to the world through engagement, impact, and relationships.

As an anchor institution in the collection of urban neighborhoods in Indianapolis known as the Near Northwest Area, Marian University is deeply committed to the wellbeing of resi-dents and the role of community engaged learning in higher education. 

Informed by the traditions of Catholic Social Teaching and our Franciscan Sponsorship Values, community engagement at Marian University leverages higher education to produce social change through authentic relationships, asset-based approaches, and high-impact practices. Students often report that community engaged learning experiences are some of their most lasting and transformative moments as undergraduates. Community residents also indicate positive outcomes and are often involved in the design and delivery of commu-nity engaged learning courses.

Defining Community Engaged Learning

Marian University’s definition of Community Engaged Learning, adopted January 2022: 

At Marian University, Community Engaged Learning (CEL): Combines academic course-work or co/extra-curricular active and experiential inquiry with the application of institu-tional resources to generate and sustain relationships with communities through: 

  • Engagement that addresses concerns identified by community residents and honors community expertise 
  • Learning objectives co-created with community partner(s)
  • Ongoing critical reflection and social leadership development 
  • Clearly articulated benefits for students, community, and campus partners 
  • Opportunities to critically examine social issues and situate self within a community setting 
  • Enactment of the Franciscan Values 
  • Asset-based and relational practices 
  • Inspiration and encouragement to build a more socially just world

How Are Students Engaged At Marian University? 

According to the 2021 National Survey of Student Engagement, 88% of Marian University students reported their courses have included a significant community-based project. 

Community engaged learning is a high impact practice and is embedded in coursework as well as co-curricular activities and student athletics. Through engagement and service, students form lasting relationships with community residents and gain experience in directly addressing social concerns. 

Schools & Majors that Require Community Engaged Learning:

  • Klipsch Educators College 
  • Leighton School of Nursing (Indianapolis) 
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Communication, English, Global Studies, History, Music, Public Health, Spanish, Social Work, and Sociology 

Co-Curricular Programs that Require or Strongly Encourage Community Engaged Learning: 

  • College of Osteopathic Medicine Student Groups 
  • Campus Ministry (STARR, alternative breaks) 
  • San Damiano Scholars
  • 21st Century Scholars
  • The Exchange
  • The Writing Center 
  • Student Activities (student clubs, MLK Day of Service, Indy Do Day)
  • Student Athletics

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© 2021 Marian University
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.

Students may make a complaint to the Indiana Commission of Higher Education.

Marian University is sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, Indiana.

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