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1971 - Metropolitan State University is founded with one of the five basic tenets stating "the university and its students will use community resources to achieve educational goals and, in turn, will serve as resources to diverse communities."

1974 - Volunteer Services Program was initiated where interested students completed degree programs with an emphasis in volunteer administration.

1987 - Awarded a FIPSE grant to reorganize the internship program to demonstrate, at a national level, that adult (non-traditional age) students could and would contribute to community service-learning activities.

1991 - The Stanford University Campus Compact Institute for Integrating Service with Academic Study was attended by the president, faculty and staff members of metropolitan State University and 14 other universities across the country. The goals outlined by Metropolitan State at the institute were to:

  1. Substantially increase community involvement opportunities for students through participation in community-service, social action or public affairs projects - combined with learning activities through discipline reflection on the participation.
  2.  Develop joint ventures with communities by formulating clearly articulate relationships in which students, faculty and staff are engaged with communities in activities that advance community agendas. 

1992 - University moved to St. Paul's East Side and developed relationships which turned into solid partnerships with Dayton's Bluff Elementary School, Upper Swede Hollow Neighborhoods Association (USHNA), and District 4 Community Council. Our first collaborative grant was received for a literacy program from the US Department of Education.

1994 - Received a grant from The W. K. Kellogg Foundation to assist in the continued development of community partnerships, defined Community partnerships are mutually defined relationships between the university and one or more community-based organization(s) of sufficient scale and duration to significantly benefit the community organization(s) while providing important learning opportunities for Metropolitan State students.

1995 - Became a charter member of Minnesota Campus Compact.

1996 - Received a grant from MN Campus Compact, through the Corporation for National Service, as one of four Model University-Community Collaborations in Minnesota. During the administration of the grant, the president of the university combined the community partnership program and the academic internship program, and created the Center for Community-Based Learning.

1998 - One of eight high education institutions invited to Wingspread to discuss and create good practices for community-university partnerships.

Awarded COPC grant by HUD in collaboration with Macalester College and the University of Minnesota to help East Side organizations create affordable housing and livable wage jobs by providing the groups with undergraduate and graduate student research assistants.

1999 - Began defining Metropolitan State as an Engaged Campus. Received recognition as an outstanding service-learning program by being honored as a Star Program at Minnesota Services Recognition Day.

2000 - Intervention for College Attendance Program, in partnership with Century College and Hamline University, funded Achieving Higher Education and Dreams (AHEAD).

2001 - Selected to begin Project SHINE(Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders),  a collaboration between Metropolitan State and Minneapolis Community and Technical College, funded by The Corporation for National and Community Service sub-contract from Temple University.

2002 - Awarded funding by Minnesota Campus Compact and the Higher Education Services Office to fund From Programs to University Wide Practice: Building the Engaged Campus. The goals of this initiative support Metropolitan States continuing progress toward being a truly engaged campus, through the development of policies that clearly match institutional dollars to curriculum approaches that support community engagement, and building greater awareness, ownership and coordination of engaged campus activities across administrative, academic and student services divisions.

2003 - Carter Partnership Award Finalist. Metropolitan State and Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), were finalist for the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaborations sponsored by Campus Compact. The purposes of the award are to:

  • provide recognition for outstanding campus-community partnerships
  • increase the number and the effectiveness of campus/community partnerships and promote college/university citizenship
  • encourage cooperation among education, community. Government, and business leaders on critical social and economic issues
  • increase public awareness of and support for campus-community partnerships.

2004 - Center for Community-Based Learning name change. In 1996 when the Center for Community-Based Learning was conceptualized, a tag line, Internships and Partnerships, was included to illustrate functions of the Center. In 2004 President Wilson Bradshaw requested that the name be changed to reflect the charge of CCBL which had changed over the years. After a lengthy search for a name and university discussions, it was determined that the name would remain Center for Community-Based Learning but a new tag line would clarify the role: Community Action and Civic Engagement.

2005 - The Circle of Engaged Learning, a social change model created as an outcome of the civic engagement audit, 2003, was institutionalized. The Circle is a means to demonstrate the connections between what happens in all divisions within the university, in conjunction with our community partners, and how these connections are directly related to the civic engagement commitment embedded in our Vision and Mission Statements. This model will provide the demonstration of the university's unwavering commitment to civic engagement.

2006 - To underscore the commitment to civic engagement and community partnerships, President Bradshaw, at the recommendation of the CCBL faculty team and director, created the President's Circle of Engagement. All courses with significant engaged learning components will be designated as part of the Circle. It is the hope that The President's Circle of Engagement will become a very important and public element of the university's commitment to civic engagement and community partnerships.

2007 - Metropolitan State was selected by youthrive, a nonprofit organization that provides youth with leadership and service-learning opportunities especially around the concepts of peace-building, social justice, anti-racism, human and environmental rights and ethical leadership, as the higher education host institution for PeaceJam.  Hosting PeaceJam allows the university to bring the Global Call to Action campaign, initiated by Nobel Peace Laureates in 2006, to our campus. 

2008 - Metropolitan State University was selected by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AASCU) as one of 16 state colleges and universities nationwide to participate in the Deliberative Polling Initiative; a demonstration of an effective process for broad-based citizen engagement with the potential to invigorate local democratic participation.

2009 - The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected with Metropolitan State University as a recipient of its Community Engagement Classification: Curriculuar Enagement and Outreach and Partnerships. This achievement recognizes the consistent investment in integrating community-based learning with students academic experiences, and recommits the university to the mutually beneficial community relationship for which we have been well-known throughout our history.

2010 - Accepted into the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll which recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. The Honor Roll is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service's strategic commitment to engage millions of college students in service and celebrate the critical role of higher education in strengthening communities.

2011 - Invited by the Ordway Center for Performing Arts to join their Campus Connections partnership giving focus to the rich, diverse, international citizenry of the Twin Cities community through educational and engagement programs.

2012 - The Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship has been adopted by Metropolitan State as the new name for the Center for Community-Based Learning.

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