Metropolitan State University’s Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship (ICES) provides a central home for the university’s scholarship of engagement, which has earned regional and national recognition. ICES recognizes the relationship between academic excellence and community engagement and focuses on ways that teaching, research and service are enriched by community and university collaboration.
The Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship fosters social transformation and civic responsibility by facilitating opportunities to connect student-centered learning with the challenges and opportunities of urban communities, deepening the campus culture of community engagement, addressing mutually-defined interests and building on the capacities of local communities.
Metropolitan State University has long prided itself on being a community-based institution of higher education. In recent years, the university has developed a regional and national reputation for its community partnerships' programs organized through departments or through the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship, that connect faculty, staff, students, and alumni to community-based organizations and agencies.
The mission and vision statements for the university clearly indicate the value and importance Metropolitan State places on civic engagement through service and community-based learning. The mission statement includes: The University is committed to academic excellence and community partnerships through curriculum, teaching, scholarship, and services designed to support an urban mission. And the vision for the university states: The faculty, staff, and students of Metropolitan State will reflect the area's rich diversity and will demonstrate an unwavering commitment to civic engagement.
University leadership understands that community engagement is central to Metropolitan State's urban mission, supports faculty involvement through tenure and promotion, and provides strong financial support to the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship which is the largest and most active unit of its kind within the MnSCU system.
It is widely known that Metropolitan State University was founded on principles of connecting higher education with communities. We are known as a leader in the field; many of our programs (see Project SHINE and The American Democracy Project) and approaches are considered national models by our peers. We strive to continue and deepen this tradition.