Public Engagement at the University of Minnesota

Public engagement is the partnership of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

The Graduate School collaborates with multiple University units and academic departments to support graduate students interested in pursuing research or projects that engage with communities within and beyond the Twin Cities area. Through workshops and forums, the Graduate School and the Office for Public Engagement partner to connect graduate students across disciplines in order to expand their academic and professional networks.

Please refer to the Graduate School Academic & Career Development calendar for upcoming workshops.

Download Public Engagement Graduate Student Resource Guide (PDF)

Public Engagement Networks

Common Grounds

Common Grounds is an interdisciplinary graduate student-led team that applies the concept of integrative leadership to community challenges. Guided by the principle that complex problems require cross-sector collaboration, Common Grounds brings together 30 graduate students from across the University of Minnesota to explore community issues, provide professional research and consultation services to community organizations, and practice and promote integrative leadership.

Co-Curricular Community Engagement

The Off-Campus Community Engagement (OCCE) networks student groups that promote student citizenship and sustainable partnerships between the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus and local community organizations. OCCE connects student groups with co-curricular community engagement opportunities in Minneapolis’ University District, facilitates student involvement with local neighborhood associations, and hosts forums for students and student groups on topics related to student-community engagement.

Graduate Student Network 

The Graduate Student Network is a community of graduate students from around the world who are interested in advancing research on service-learning and community engagement from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. As an affiliate community of the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, the network provides access to research opportunities, professional development workshops, a graduate-student listserv, and mentoring opportunities.