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Community Engagement

Welcome to the Community Engagement website at NCCU.  Since its opening in 1910, the university has maintained a strong and enduring commitment to public service.  NCCU was the first institution in the University of North Carolina system to require undergraduate students to complete 15 volunteer hours in the service of others each semester, or 120 hours by graduation. Dr. James Shepard, the school’s founder, believed that students, faculty and staff have a special responsibility to use their knowledge and skills to build a better life for those living in the community, across the state, within the nation, and around the world. 

Community engagement describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and 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.
(Adapted from Carnegie Commission and AAC&U)


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NCCU student volunteers support DurhamTRY Alcopops project. Click to VIEW video



Special Honors and Recognitions

President’s Higher Education Community Service AwardNCCU has been selected as a recipient of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Award, which is bestowed on behalf of the White House. NCCU has earned the recognition each year since the award began in 2006. This past year, NCCU was one of only two North Carolina institutions to receive the award “with distinction.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an independent policy and research center chartered by Congress in 1906, has recognized NCCU as a Community Engaged Institution in both curricular engagement and community outreach programs. This recognition is indicative of the tremendous impact NCCU has on Durham and beyond.

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North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27707