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Lots of universities talk about engagement. At JMU, we do it — and we have been since 1908.

Starting with our general education courses, moving into the majors and graduate programs, grounded in an ethical reasoning framework, and complimented by co-curricular and extracurricular activities that reach across disciplines, JMU students are engaged in the learning experience and involved in community and civic engagement from day one on campus.

Why Engagement Matters

When you walk across the stage at JMU’s graduation having been a part of an engaged university community, you haven’t just been educated, you’ve been transformed. What does engagement look like? Things like community service, travel, civic or political involvement, experimentation, work, campus involvement, creativity and teamwork are part of it. The Engagement opportunities you choose will lead to a greater self-understanding and, therefore, a more meaningful connection with others. You will be creative, collaborative, resilient, and ethical. You will become a citizen in the best sense of that word. Learn more.

JMU’s vision is to be the national model for the engaged university: engaged with ideas and the world.

Let us show you what we mean.

Engaged Learning
Jesmine Torres-Roberts and Curtis Kapsak in the DNA sequencer lab.

Developing deep, purposeful and reflective learning, while uniting campus and community in the pursuit, creation, application and dissemination of knowledge.

A few examples
Community Engagement
Engineering's annual sophomore year bike project to design bicycles for local mobility-challenged clients.

Fostering mutually beneficial and reciprocal partnerships, ranging from local to global, that connect learning to practice, address critical societal problems and improve quality of life.

A few examples
  • Sophomores in Engineering design and build custom bicycles for a local client with mobility challenges.
  • One day, one cause. Each April, The Big Event brings together students and alumni across the globe together for a day of volunteering.
  • Every year, Marketing students dominate the Google Marketing Challenge while giving back to the community. Their targeted ad campaigns help bring attention and donations for non-profits like the Harrisonburg/Rockingham SPCA, Children’s Science Center in Northern VA and Poricy Park Conservancy in NJ.
Civic Engagement
Duke Dog holds up a red, white and blue ballot box.

Advancing the legacy of James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, by preparing individuals to be active and responsible participants in a representative democracy dedicated to the common good.

A few examples
  • Student-led Dukes Vote initiative helped to create an on-campus voting precinct and registered more than 2,000 student voters.
  • Through the Health Policy Collaborative, Nursing students analyze complex health care issues and propose innovative solutions to community leaders and policymakers.
  • Teams from seven majors across the arts, humanities and sciences worked with professors and outside mentors on the JMU Drones Challenge on real-life, global issues related from air pollution to landmine detection and disarmament.

Want to learn more?

JMU Engagement Home

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