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Center for Engagement and Community Development

News Features

Kansas Campus Compact links university, community

K-State Engagement E-News, October 2007 (PDF)

by Stephanie Faulk

Kansas Campus Compact works daily to connect the students of Kansas universities to projects in their communities. It serves as a portal — KCC sees higher education and civic involvement as undeniably linked. KCC believes that education must be applied in order to bring theories to life and shows students how concepts can be applicable to the real world.

"College students have this peculiar notion to give back," KCC Coordinator Mary Marston said. "Higher education was created to make people better democratic citizens, and students feel a responsibility to help their communities."

KCC creates mutually beneficial relationships between universities and local communities. Students apply concepts they learn in the classroom and communities receive the time and dedication of individuals who care.

One K-State student, Kourtney Bettinger, practiced service learning first hand during a summer volunteer program in Izamal, Mexico.

Another student, Stacey Pierce, was irreversibly changed by her experience practicing drama with special needs children. There are countless other stories of students who applied their knowledge and helped their communities.

KCC functions on many different levels — training, research, leadership development, campus consultation, and advocacy — to strengthen the relationships between higher education students and the communities they serve. This relationship can last a lifetime.

"If people do meaningful service when they’re young," Marston said, "they'll keep doing it."

And that's something worth investing in. Please visit www.k-state.edu/kscc for more information.