We are a community committed to preparing students to be educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.


To be the national model for the engaged university: engaged with ideas and the world.

Our central pursuit as we seek to fulfill our mission will be to become the national model for what it means to be engaged.

JMU understands engagement as consisting of three facets - Engaged Learning, Community Engagement and Civic Engagement. We define them below to provide some structure and clarity for the members of our community. We recognize that there is plenty of overlap between the three. We also realize that not all engagement-related work fits neatly into one of the categories. While we know that the definitions are necessary, we focus our understanding of the concept by emphasizing community and individual relationships as the center of our uniqueness as an engaged university. Faculty-student relationships, relationships with the local and global community and partnerships that foster deep and purposeful learning are the focus of our vision.

And, for JMU, engagement means:

  • Engaged Learning: Developing deep, purposeful and reflective learning, through classroom, campus, and community experiences in the pursuit, creation, application and dissemination of knowledge.

  • Civic Engagement: 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.

  • Community Engagement: 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.


  • Academic Quality: We are dedicated to exemplary learning experiences because they are the essence of our mission.
  • Community: We thrive when we collaborate, respect and serve others, and appreciate our interconnectedness.
  • Diversity: We strive to be an inclusive community that values the richness of all individuals and perspectives.
  • Innovation: We believe that purposeful creativity through our collaborative processes leads to knowledge creation, learning and excellence.
  • Integrity: We pursue ethical reasoning because it is essential to meaningful citizenship.
  • Student Focus: We provide experiences that challenge and support students.

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