Center for Community Action and Research: A New Name to Reflect a Broader Mission

  Students painting school
    The newly renamed Center for Community Action and Research at Dyson College provides civic engagement opportunities for students, staff, and faculty in and outside of the classroom.

The Center for Community Action and Research at Dyson College (CCAR) is the new name for the former Center for Community Outreach, to better reflect the breadth and scope of the Center’s mission. Under the leadership of Dr. Mary Ann Murphy and her dedicated team, the center has worked with faculty to develop over 80 community-based learning courses that fulfill the Area of Knowledge 1 (AOK1) requirement of the Core Curriculum. During the last academic year, over 1,700 students participated in AOK1 activities and produced more than 26,000 hours of community service. This notable accomplishment has led to Pace being recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its work in developing both curricular and co-curricular civic engagement programming.

The new name reflects both the continuity of Dyson’s efforts to improve the communities in which we live and the renewed energy and scholarship we are bringing to these endeavors. Since its inception in 2000, the Center has expanded the scope of its mission and activities, from developing volunteer opportunities for Pace students, staff, and faculty to the four primary areas of responsibility listed below:

  • CCAR works with faculty to develop and implement community-based learning courses for the Civic Engagement and Public Values (AOK1) component of the Core Curriculum, including assisting faculty in developing course syllabi, identifying supplemental course readings and classroom exercises for critical reflection, providing trained peer mentors to assist students and faculty, and developing meaningful community placements for students.

    To this end, CCAR continues to develop partnerships between Pace University and external community organizations.
  • CCAR promotes research on the pedagogy of community-based learning.
  • CCAR develops partnerships across the University that support Pace’s efforts to educate for citizenship and social responsibility, working closely with Student Affairs, University 101, Freshmen Orientation, and many other university activities to connect students with programming on social issues and to mentor student leaders. The Center is a leading sponsor of seminars and co-curricular events that address important civic and cultural issues.
  • CCAR directs the University-wide Project Pericles and the Jefferson Awards programs.

You can participate in the many activities sponsored by the CCAR and take advantage of the services it offers.