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Philosophy and Goals

 The Office of Community Engagement unites William & Mary's active citizens with local, regional, and international communities to generate positive social change. OCE has established a set of values and goals to guide the fulfillment of our mission. 

OCE values

Gaining knowledge and integrating it with experience in community settings, thinking critically and reflectively

Mutually beneficial relationships

Supporting community-driven social change while students are learning and being challenged in community settings

Student development

Supporting students through their growth as active and educated citizens

Social justice

Committing to engagement in community and working toward a society that values the equality and full potential of all


Developing opportunities for W&M and community to partner on direct action for community-driven positive social change


Aligning our work in community and with students with our personal and professional values


Purposefully cultivating a sense of fun and camaraderie while appreciating the process of community engagement

Learning Goals

Students will: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of relevant social issues and their root causes
  • Demonstrate knowledge of concepts of social justice, including power, privilege, oppression, and difference
  • Cultivate meaningful relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and identities on campus and in communities
  • Integrate academic experiences with community engagement
  • Practice reflective thinking
  • Share information with others about social issues
  • Gain skills to become engaged in community efforts and act on social issues throughout their lives
  • Develop a personal and sustainable commitment to community
Community Impact Goals

Through community engagement, students will:

  • Build on and contribute to community assets and strengths
  • Create measurable positive impact on community-identified needs
  • Learn from community partners and members about social issues, root causes and community contexts
  • Develop sustained relationships with communities and long-term involvement with social issues, where possible
  • Respect community capacity and needs, being responsive, punctual, flexible and using their skills and abilities fully