WCU students and faculty engage community through Quality Enhancement Plan
- UNC Spotlight on Community Engagement
What is Engaged Learning?
At WCU, we define engaged learning as the integration of purposeful academic and co-curricular activities to equip students with the intellectual and experiential skills necessary for success in life beyond college.
Pocket Guide (PDF)
Western Carolina University was founded in 1889 by Robert Lee Madison as a high school, and it quickly became the state’s first rural normal school. Madison founded the school not as a “missionary to the wilderness,” but in response to a strongly felt need by the people of the Cullowhee Valley for a local school to provide a “classical high school education.” Madison soon realized that rural North Carolina needed trained teachers if he was to be effective in meeting the needs of the people, and he applied for permission to offer a normal certificate so that Cullowhee High School could prepare teachers for the western region of the state. This link between the needs of the people and the institution’s effective response became known as the “Cullowhee Idea.”
Today, the Cullowhee Idea remains the most important core value of Western Carolina University. It is embodied in our continuing outreach to the 17 western counties of the state, in our emphasis on high quality teaching, and our merger of these two ideals. Western Carolina’s commitment to engagement and outreach extends well beyond the confines of the Cullowhee Valley. The University promotes engagement in two fundamental ways, including 1) engaged learning in the curriculum and co-curriculum (curricular engagement); and 2) community outreach and partnerships.
At WCU, we define engaged learning as the integration of purposeful academic and co-curricular activities to equip students with the intellectual and experiential skills necessary for success in life beyond college. Engaged learning incorporates teaching, learning, and scholarship by faculty, students, and community partners characterized by reciprocity and respectful exchange.
Community Outreach and Engagement
At WCU, we define community outreach and engagement as the alignment and application of University goals and resources to local and regional issues through the development of reciprocal, collaborative partnerships and exchanges. Community outreach and engagement include the exploration and application of knowledge, information, and resources.
Learn more about engagement at WCU by visiting the engagement news page.