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Our Approach


Our values inform every aspect of our relational approach.

  • Learning and growth that are grounded in curiosity about self and the world, critical and creative thinking, and recognition of complexity
  • Action that values relationships, processes, and outcomes and moves us forward together with intention, courage, and dedication
  • Caring relationships and inclusive communities within which all experience belonging, interdependence, dignity, and joy
  • Democratic practices and co-creation that share responsibility and power, repair structural and power imbalances, and generate equity, justice, and opportunity
  • Resilience, grounded in hope, that sustains relationships through change and disagreement for the sake of short-term and long-term impact
  • Lightheartedness that inspires play, enjoyment, encouragement, and new ways of thinking and being
  • Transformation of people, relationships, organizations, and systems in fundamental and liberating ways
  • Commitment to justice that seeks to realize the full and equitable participation of all individuals and groups in a society that is mutually shaped to meet their needs and support their flourishing.

In our pursuit of a more just and sustainable world in which all people and the planet can flourish, we are committed to understanding and taking action individually and collectively.

description of OCE commitments
Accessibility and Inclusion

A few ways we are living out this commitment:

  • Providing image descriptions and closed captions on our website and social media
  • Offering almost all our programs at no cost, and providing scholarships for programs with a fee
  • Asking participants about accessibility needs in all event and program registrations
  • Directly engaging populations including those with disabilities/chronic illness; First-Gen/Low-Income; veterans; Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; and LGBTQ+ individuals to understand and remove barriers to their participation
Anti-Racism and Racial Justice

A few ways we are living out this commitment:


A few ways we are living out this commitment:

  • 7 Generations Pre-Orientation focused on sustainability
  • Waste reduction efforts within programs and events including meal kits and composting in Branch Out alternative breaks, minimizing individually packaged foods, encouraging participants to bring reusable water bottles
  • Prioritizing sustained and transformative partnerships with community organizations over short-term transactional experiences
  • Tracking how our projects and partnerships connect to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Committed to action, we employ these strategies to cultivate transformational relationships.

  • Promote & participate in service and civic action
  • Practice & facilitate community
  • Teach, mentor, & advise students
  • Encourage & facilitate dialogue and critical reflection
  • Connect people & sustain relationships
  • Curate & communicate opportunities for community engagement
  • Nurture restorative spaces & advocate systemic change
  • Examine assets and needs & assess learning and outcomes
  • Foster creative problem-solving & generate new knowledge and resources