In 2003-04, Metropolitan State completed a civic engagement audit providing new benchmarks for assessing our growth as an engaged campus over time. One of its goals was to determine the type and number of courses that connect academic learning with community. Faculty members identified 150 course titles and 161 sections of courses that included a community connection. In 2011-12 there were 288 courses, and 709 course sections identified as being engaged with community.
The number of students participating in community-based courses varies based on the number offered during a semester. Results of the audit indicated that about 30% of those students who responded were taking or had taken a course with a community-based learning component. During FY12 nearly 5,000 (close to 50%) students were engaged in a course with a community engagement component, providing 67,246 hours in the community.
Since the conclusion of the audit Metropolitan State has been better able to describe our university/community partnerships in detail, having very important implications for the university. This endeavor has served as a model for other colleges and universities that are beginning to question their level of community engagement.
The audit consultant concluded that Metropolitan State is not just the university on a hill it is directly engaged in applying theories of knowledge to improve the lives of community members. See Audit Report.