Civic engagement is the act of working to make a difference in community life through collective, public problem solving to reach a shared vision. As an academic institution, Drexel University fosters an environment where students, faculty, and staff develop knowledge and skills they can use to create a more just and equitable world. The University encourages and facilitates honest conversations regarding the values and motivations that drive its commitment to civic life, while weaving engagement into all aspects of its mission and operations: from academics and research to student life and athletics, from our participation in and support of local initiatives to the evaluation of institutional business practices. Drexel's engagement is long-term and multigenerational; works on local, regional, and global levels; and is fundamental to the University's identity and future.
Drexel Is Part of West Philadelphia
Drexel has committed to a civic engagement mission that aligns our core functions to working in partnership with our West Philadelphia neighbors. We have created strategies to recruit employees from the neighborhoods close to our campus and to do necessary purchasing from West Philadelphia businesses. Our “Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow” strategy convenes partners around improving education outcomes for children who live and go to school in West Philadelphia while generating meaningful career pathways for their caregivers. There are places in this work for students, faculty, and staff alike, and all Dragons are invited to join us in working to achieve these shared community-building goals.
Drexel is committed to becoming 'the most civically engaged university in the United States'
President John Fry
From Local to Global
We celebrate our location and relationships in West Philadelphia, but the University also works with partners throughout the city and around the region — inspiring initiatives in public health, engineering, early education, and more are thriving all around us. Even so, we embrace our role as an international institution, composed of faculty, students, and staff from all over the world. Our civic engagement mission reflects this global perspective and reaches communities throughout the United States and beyond as we coordinate community-engaged learning and research opportunities in a wide range of fields.
Drexel Is a National Civic Engagement Leader
What makes our University’s civic engagement mission so special is the careful coordination of our internal work around a core mission, along with our effectiveness in convening key external partners to accomplish goals established in conjunction with our surrounding neighbors. Drexel is a proud participant in networks such as the Coalition for Urban and Metropolitan Universities, the Place-Based Justice Network, the Anchor Learning Network, Campus Compact, and Imagining America, providing opportunities to share our experiences and learn from colleagues as we work to improve the standing of those around us.
Our work as a civically engaged university continues to garner national attention. Most notably, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has awarded Drexel with its prestigious Community Engagement classification in recognition of our ongoing institutional commitment to developing strong community partnerships that support the evolving needs of our broader communities.