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Nonprofit and Civic Engagement (NPACE) Center: Building Mutually Beneficial Community Relationships

Christopher J. McCollough, Danna Gibson, Richard L. Baxter


This paper discusses the purpose, reach, and function of the Non-Profit and Civic Engagement (NPACE) Center in the Department of Communication. Additionally, it explores how the ground-up creation of NPACE resulted from a thorough examination of the strengths and needs of both department and community and how the center offers substantive solutions to meet real-life challenges of both. Along the way, the paper addresses how faculty members negotiated with faculty and administrators across campus to gain support to launch the center. Moreover, the paper discusses key achievements of a few select projects executed in the past 5 years of service to the university and community. It also addresses the value of NPACE to its students, including a recent trend that has potential for further examination regarding the effect of the learning model and the center on fostering the civic and community engagement of graduates. Finally, the paper discusses emerging challenges, lessons learned, and opportunities for NPACE.

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nonprofit centers; community outreach; service learning; impact; learning outcomes

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