The Office of Community Engagement empowers students to become active citizens and develop a responsibility toward community through service and volunteerism; community partnerships and connections; intentional learning opportunities; and, a focus on civic engagement and critical societal issues. Through involvement and participation in Community Engagement’s programs, leadership opportunities and student-led events, UCO students have the opportunity to give back to and invest in their community on a variety of levels.
Outside of the programs and events hosted by Community Engagement, our office supports UCO students, faculty and staff in their efforts to engage themselves in their community through:
- On- and Off-Campus Volunteer Opportunities: Community Engagement can match individuals with community opportunities or agencies based on their interests and provides numerous opportunities to volunteer at and support on-campus UCO events;
- Faculty Support for Service Learning Partnerships and Projects: Community Engagement, along with the Service Learning Advisory Board, provides support for faculty members as they build service learning projects into their curriculum, by providing the connection to community partners and nonprofit organizations that are in search of assistance;
- Service Hour Tracking and Records: Community Engagement can help track and verify all service hours and provide a full record of all service completed while at UCO; and,
- Services and Resources: Community Engagement provides services and resources designed to positively impact student success and retention at Central, including the Central Pantry, Off-Campus Living Resources and much more.
The Community Engagement UCORE page is the home base to log service hours, find upcoming volunteer opportunities, apply for service awards or student leadership positions and learn more about the services offered through Community Engagement.
Community Engagement Opportunities
The Big Event is a student-led service opportunity held every spring by the Big Event student organization. The mission of Big Event is simply “One Big Day. One Big Thanks. One Big Event.”
On this day, UCO students, faculty, staff and alumni head out into the community to say thank you to the residents through service. Participants clean up trash, do yardwork, paint, work in gardens and various other light labor activities, both inside and outside. Big Event averages 600-800 participants and 100 sites each spring.
The Little Event is a campuswide service project put on by the Big Event team during the fall semester. Little Event’s goal is to help fill the needs of the metro area’s community agencies. Little Event is one of the first service events promoted to incoming students at UCO and a great opportunity for students to learn the importance of giving back to the greater Edmond and OKC community agencies that work with UCO. More than 700 students participate in the Little Event each fall.
The President’s Club Children’s Community Party connects first-graders with the UCO community as we all get to share a bit of holiday spirit. Each December, we invite 250 Edmond-area elementary school students to the UCO campus to make crafts, play games, celebrate the holiday and, of course, get a gift.
Get involved by volunteering or signing up to sponsor a child.
The UCO Alternative Breaks program strives to provide students with a transformative experience. Instead of relaxing or taking a vacation over school holidays, Alternative Breaks provides the opportunity to participate in a week of volunteering, giving back, and learning. In line with UCO’s Call to Action of delivering education based on our shared values of Community, Character and Civility, we strive to create a society of active citizens. Alternative Breaks provides local and national level experiences.
The 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Service is a very special volunteer event intended to show UCO’s appreciation and remembrance of the men and women who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks of 2001. This day includes a flag-planting ceremony around Broncho Lake and an evening service opportunity to show appreciation for the public servants of our community.
The MLK Day of Service is an annual, nationally recognized day of service. At UCO, MLK Day of Service is the kickoff event of King Week, a week of events to commemorate Dr. King and discuss the issues he lived and died for.
Join UCO as we remember those we lost in the April 19, 1995, Murrah Federal Building Bombing by volunteering at the OKC Memorial Marathon in various capacities. Students will have the opportunity to volunteer with events before, during and after the marathon.
Community Engagement brings you Becoming Broncho each year during Welcome Home Week. As students finish their first full week on campus before classes start, Becoming Broncho provides them with their first opportunity for direct acts of service on campus. Each year, students get the chance to work directly with community partners to provide work that benefits their community.
Community Engagement hosts two volunteer fairs each year. In the fall, Community Engagement and the Career Development Center host the Volunteer and Part-Time Job Fair during Stampede Week. Students have the opportunity to engage with local nonprofits and employers looking for part-time employees.
At the start of the spring semester, Community Engagement hosts the Winter Volunteer as part of Winter Welcome Week.
Community Engagement is the home of the UCO Central Pantry, the first collegiate pantry in the state of Oklahoma. The Central Pantry is a free pantry on campus designed to be used by UCO students, faculty and staff. Once you are registered as a client, you can shop at the pantry once a week for needed food and supplies. The Central Pantry also provides many opportunities to volunteer and donate.
Students who devote 400 hours to service during their time at UCO have the opportunity to be recognized as a Distinguished Service Graduate. Start now by logging your service hours on UCORE!
The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification, meaning that it is based on voluntary participation by institutions. The elective classification involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments and requires substantial effort invested by participating institutions. It is an institutional classification; it is not for systems of multiple campuses or for part of an individual campus.
The classification is not an award. It is an evidence-based documentation of institutional practice to be used in a process of self-assessment and quality improvement. In this way, it is similar to an accreditation process of self-study. The documentation is reviewed by a National Review Panel to determine whether the institution qualifies for recognition as a community engaged institution.