Community Engagement at UNLV

UNLV’s Office of Government and Community Engagement works with faculty, staff, students, and the community to engage in a wide variety of community-oriented projects, programs, and initiatives. Our goal is to cultivate and expand these activities in intentional, beneficial ways, with a special emphasis on actions which support UNLV’s Top Tier 2.0 community partnerships goals:

  • Build reciprocal relationships as we create and strengthen partnerships, collaborations, and pipeline programs with K-12.
  • Leverage UNLV’s strength to develop collaborative networks and address community needs and challenges.
  • Provide cultural, educational, and service programs that are valued, advance learning, and benefit our communities.
  • Targeted, intentional engagement efforts to identify, establish, and steward mutually beneficial partnerships with aligned stakeholders centered on distinct and strategic intersections.
  • Communicate UNLV’s strengths to promote the link between the university and the associated benefit to the community, region, state, Legislature, and other stakeholders.

UNLV Definition of Community Engagement

UNLV subscribes to the definition of community engagement provided by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching:

Community engagement describes 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 partnership and reciprocity.

The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

To put it another way, UNLV’s streamlined definition of community engagement is, “anything we do that connects our on- and off-campus communities.”

Examples of Community Engagement Activity

UNLV Top Tier 2.0 Community Engagement Council

The UNLV Top Tier 2.0 Community Engagement Council is a network of individuals who help advance the university’s Top Tier 2.0 Community Partnerships and UNLV community engagement mission. Council members represent their respective colleges/units in institutional community engagement conversations, sharing ideas and issues and helping to build community engagement infrastructure.

If you would like information about the Council, please email the UNLV Office of Government and Community Engagement.

Community Engagement Awards

In support of its mission, the Office of Government and Community Engagement administers annual awards that recognize campus individuals for their exceptional community engagement in the areas of service-learning, community-based research, faculty/staff community outreach activity, and student service.

Learn More about the Community Engagement Awards

Community Engagement Dashboard

UNLV conducts an annual survey of university faculty and staff, as well as community partners to better understand the ways the campus connects with our community. We have created a community engagement dashboard containing some of the key indicators from this data to help convey the status of university community engagement.

View the Community Engagement Dashboard

Resources for the Community – Individuals, Nonprofits, Governments, and Businesses

Virtually every college, school, and unit at UNLV is involved in community engagement in some way. UNLV's Office of Government and Community Engagement offers the Guide to UNLV Resources for the Community, which lists a variety of resources, programs, services, and offerings provided by UNLV in the following categories:

  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Community Events
  • Dental
  • Differently Abled
  • Education
  • Event Services & Venues
  • For Educators
  • For Nonprofits, Government, & Businesses
  • Health & Wellness
  • Lectures
  • Legal
  • Libraries & Literary
  • Medical
  • Mental Health
  • Nature and Environment
  • Services and Safety
  • Youth Programs and Camps

Resources for UNLV Students

UNLV students have access to a wide variety of opportunities to engage with the community. They can volunteer, take a service-learning class, conduct research, secure an internship, and/or participate in co-curricular programming. In addition to academic department offerings, UNLV’s Student Involvement and Activities and Service Learning and Leadership offices serve as hubs for student engagement. Below is a sampling of community-oriented opportunities for students.

Resources for Faculty and Staff

The Office of Government and Community Engagement partners with UNLV colleges and administrative divisions across campus to help facilitate collaboration with the community. To enhance this process, the office provides a variety of resources to help support UNLV faculty and staff involved in community engagement. A sampling of these resources include:

  • This guide is designed to assist UNLV faculty and staff who are developing collaborations/partnerships with external organizations.

  • This guide provides UNLV faculty and staff with a better understanding of types of university agreements required to establish community collaborations.

  • The UNLV Office of Service Learning and Leadership provides support to campus faculty who wish to engage in the high-impact practice of academic service-learning.

  • The Nevada Minority Health and Equity Coalition (NMHEC), housed within the UNLV School of Public Health, created a toolkit for stakeholders interested in conducting community-based participatory research. The toolkit is focused on community partnerships related to health disparities, but can be applied to other areas of focus.

  • The Faculty Center is located at Beam Hall in Rooms 235 and 240 and is a hub for UNLV's faculty community. It provides a welcoming lounge space, quiet work and meeting areas, practice teaching space, individual and small-group consultation space, and other faculty development resources and information.

  • Learn more about UNLV’s strategic objectives, tasks, and metrics which may help you align your community engagement work with the university’s overall goals.

  • In 2020, UNLV became a first-time recipient of the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement after a multi-year examination of the university’s identity and culture, assessment, policies, and service learning.

  • ACE convenes, organizes, mobilizes, and leads advocacy efforts that shape effective public policy and help colleges and universities best serve their students, their communities, and the wider public good.

  • CUMU helps UNLV faculty and staff navigate the complexities of community engagement work by providing opportunities to exchange ideas, dismantle barriers, and institutionalize practices that enable intentional, transformative change.

  • Campus Compact takes a comprehensive approach to supporting UNLV faculty and staff by helping them build knowledge, skills, and capacity to enable a just, equitable, and sustainable future.