Community Engagement

We use the theories and models below as a guide for developing a supportive campus environment for students. To learn more about our campus and local community and find out about student organizations, events and volunteer opportunities, click here.


Ecological Systems Theory of Development

Examines the connection between the person (individual influences), process (experiences and reactions to their environment), context (interactions with systems), and time (the influence of current and past historical events) on an individual's development.

  • Bronfenbrenner, U. (Ed.). (2005). Making human beings human: Bioecological perspectives on human development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Environments Approach to Student Learning

Uses an environmental approach to assess four aspects of a college or university environment: physical, aggregate, organizational, and constructed. Assumes that environments can and should be intentionally designed to promote student learning.

  • Strange, C. C., & Banning, J. H. (2015). Designing for learning: Creating campus environments for student success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Principles of Community

States that college campuses should be educationally purposeful, open, just, disciplined, caring, and celebrative. These six Principles, when affirmed together, provide a framework on which to build a community.

  • Boyer, E. L. (1990). Campus life: In search of community. A special report. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Unconditional Positive Regard

Assumes that for healthy development, an individual needs an environment that provides genuineness, acceptance, and empathy.

  • Rogers, Carl. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality and interpersonal relationships as developed in the client-centered framework. In S. Koch (Ed.), Psychology: A Study of a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and the Social Context. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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