Community engagement

wordcloud - what does community mean to you? Growth, synergy, connection, values, fellowship, diversity,helping, etc.

*WordCloud exercise portraying what "community" means to SDSU students; 2020.

Community Engagement is a form of experiential learning. Experiential learning is hands-on experience which integrates academic work, giving back to the community, and career planning.

As you explore majors and fields of interest, engaging in your community can help you -

  • Gain a clearer perspective of the career options you are considering;
  • Offer a whole new world of qualified and valuable connections;
  • Develop necessary soft skills for the workplace, such as critical thinking/problem solving, professionalism/work ethic, teamwork/collaboration, time management, oral/written communications, leadership, and global/intercultural fluency, setting you apart as a competitive employee;
  • Learn about societal issues more in-depth and see multiple perspectives of a problem;
  • Gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs.

Please visit the California State University Center for Community Engagement to learn more about systemwide community engagement initiatives.

How might you go about developing your career pathway while engaging in your community?

Plant in hand image

Civic engagement encompasses actions where individuals participate in political and non-political activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life-enriching and socially beneficial to the community (Association of American Colleges and Universities).

To learn about fellowship opportunities, log into Handshake, navigate to "Jobs" and click on "Filter --> More --> Fellowship" 

 community engagement

Community engagement is the collaboration between institutions of Higher Education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnerships and reciprocity (verbatim taken from Carnegie Classification).

community service

Community service, or service, is unpaid, hands-on work provided by an individual or group that contributes to the quality of life within a community in need while fostering relationships.

Did you know? You can report community service hours with the department of Student Life & Leadership, under the "Community Service" tab.


Philanthropy/philanthropic service is the action of promoting the welfare of others by raising awareness, funds, and/or the donation of time, skills, or expertise to support non-profit, humanitarian or charitable organizations.


service learning

Service learning entails active student participation in intentional and collaborative service experiences that help promote long-term community development and civic engagement. Service Learning projects significantly relate to course content as well as enrich student education through the acquisition of professional skills in a practical (or applied) setting while also satisfying the needs of partner institutions.

Through guided reflection, students enhance their sense of civic responsibility, self-awareness, and commitment to the community.


Volunteerism is unpaid, hands-on work provided by an individual or group. 

Volunteer opportunities are available via Handshake by navigating to Jobs --> Filters --> More ---> Volunteer --> and press "See Jobs."

Get Involved!

From pursuing a nonprofit career to volunteering one’s professional skills, the ways to make a social impact are as endless. Interested in learning what ways your degree can be used towards public good? Explore the page Linking College Degrees to Nonprofit Careers

Volunteering during COVID-19

Stay-at-home orders went into effect on Thursday, March 19, 2020. For more details, please visit the California Stay at Home page. Staying at home is still the top method to combat COVID-19. Other ways to safely help your community during this difficult time are located through California Volunteers and by following the California Department of Public Health's safety guidelines while volunteering.

Employer Partners

Graduating, and exploring further career options? Explore options for career opportunities that include community engagement, such as service and gap year programs.




Learn about more opportunities through Handshake

 Additional Search Sites to Explore

Log into Handshake and get started on your career search!

To learn how to leverage your service experience and pursue social impact in your career development journey, schedule a 30-minute virtual appointment by navigating to "Schedule a New Appointment" and select the "Community Service" category.

Log Into Handshake