Changing the world, one small act at a time.
Center for Student Engagement (CSE)
Location: Campus Center (1st floor), 100 W. Home St. & Mikesell House, 82 W. Main St.
Hours: Monday – Friday (8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
The CSE builds community partnerships and enhances our historical relationships with neighboring communities. We bring together campus volunteerism, service-learning, and community-based action research. Students, faculty, and staff currently support community engagement in five key areas:
We take citizenship seriously. That’s why CCE’s student volunteers serve as poll workers, run voter registration drives, and present voter education workshops to schools, churches, and other organizations. Our students bring the national Raise Your Voice and Rock the Vote campaigns to campus. They host town halls and coffee hours to address civic and social justice issues; they talk, then they take action.
We are cultivating a greener future, starting right here at Otterbein. On campus, we encourage sustainable living through recycling programs, environmental awareness, and community clean-ups. Our students work with local organizations to clean and preserve local natural habitats. And we give the fruits of our labor back to the community – straight from the Otterbein University Community Garden! The garden serves as an educational resource for the community and provides produce to a local food bank.
We build healthier communities. Students across campus are addressing the health and wellness needs of our communities through direct service with clinics and organizations. Students may participate in health and wellness education activities, or spend time with senior citizens at a local retirement community. Some of our nursing students even take their skills to clinics as close to home as the Columbus metro area, and as far away as Appalachia, Alaska, Mexico, and Honduras.
Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness
We want to end poverty, hunger, and homelessness. We partner with local soup kitchens and food banks to serve meals, work in food pantries, organize fundraisers and food drives, and even decorate grocery bags to hopefully brighten someone’s day. We also partner with Habitat for Humanity to hammer away at new or old houses constructed by and for lower income families. We use our winter and spring breaks for service, traveling to such places as New Orleans and Appalachia.
Youth Literacy, Education & Development
Our students like to “pass it on.” While Otterbein is giving our students a quality education, our student volunteers in turn help to educate youth in local public schools. Through tutoring, mentoring, and educational programming for children and families, volunteers teach life lessons to at-risk youth. Otterbein students also show youth that a college education is within their reach.
Otterbein is the only central Ohio school with the Carnegie Classification of Master’s Universities to earn Community Engagement classification.