University of Pennsylvania

Community engagement built into the curriculum


University of Pennsylvania


North America



founding year


student body



Institutional Approach

The University of Pennsylvania has been actively integrating the campus into the local community since as early as the 1940s. Ground-up student led programs promote implementation of projects related to city of Philadelphia, and the student-led 'Community-Engagement Program' seeks to extend the university into local communities by (student-led) partnerships in local community contexts. Community-service is built in to the institutional structure and curriculum, with "Academically-based community service courses" connecting the theory of community-based learning and teaching to practical community service activities. A specific university center for community partnerships serves as a hub for these efforts.


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