Community Service and Civic Engagement
- Wheelock's 1,400 students provide an estimated 220,000 hours of service annually to the community.
- Wheelock has a total of 280 community partnerships in Boston-area schools, social service agencies, and hospitals.
- More than 85 percent of all undergraduates annually engage in one or more community partnerships.
- 100% of all social work graduate students complete at least 1,200 hours in community settings during their academic program.
- 100% of the 26 clubs on campus participate in or initiate community service programs.
For more than a century, Wheelock College has educated and empowered people who enhance the lives of children and families around the globe. From Boston to far beyond, we have devoted the talents of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni to bring to life the College's mission to improve the lives of children and families.
History of Service and Civic Engagement
Service is woven into Wheelock's institutional and educational fabric and is strongly supported by faculty, administration, trustees, and students. Historic contributions have included foundational work for Head Start in the 1960s and 35 years of leadership through the Wheelock Family Theatre to make theater accessible to underserved populations.
Institutional Definition of Service and Civic Engagement at Wheelock College
Inspired by its mission, Wheelock College engages in scholarship and service that enhances the vitality of families, communities and societies. Through active engagement and collaboration, Wheelock discovers capacity building techniques for achieving the collective objectives of communities and stakeholders.
In recognizing this commitment to service, Wheelock is guided by three principles;
1. The institutional mission - "to improve the lives of children and families."
2. The application of scholarship towards identifying areas of opportunity and collaboratively designing capacity building efforts.
3. The integration of hands-on experience into academic programs with measurable benefits to student and communities.
Guided by these principles, Wheelock College's definition of Service and Civic Engagement demonstrates its dedication to realizing transformative change and rousing dynamic leadership in all members of local, national and international communities.
Wheelock College Definition of Service and Civic Engagement
Service and academic learning that are inspired through a committed relationship and collaborative dialogue between communities and the college. Goals are shared, problem-solving and the arrival at mutually beneficial outcomes for the enhancement of learning experiences; and the quality of life in local, national and international communities.
Wheelock Lives Its Mission
Many students choose Wheelock College because of its mission. One hundred percent of social work graduate students complete at least 1,200 hours in community settings during their academic programs. Similarly high percentages occur among students in our education degree programs. Wheelock has 280 partnerships with Boston-area schools, social service agencies and hospitals through course work, co-curricular clubs and residence activities, practica, and fieldwork; more than 85 percent of our undergraduates annually engage in one or more of these partnerships.
Additionally, many students choose to travel nationally or abroad to serve. Students are provided with opportunities to participate in service learning programs from the first semester at Wheelock, and 100 percent of the 26 clubs on campus participate in or initiate community service programs. For alumni, service and civic engagement remain a priority throughout their lives.
Wheelock is regularly invited by local, national, and foreign governments to help shape and anticipate the impact of policy on the lives of children and families. And our alumni volunteer as mentors for new teachers in the Educator Mentor Corps.
Our partnerships with leaders and organizations in Greater Boston allow us to create change—on the individual, local, and systemic levels.
President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
In 2013, Wheelock was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction in recognition for its commitment to community service and civic engagement. The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Wheelock is among 100 national colleges that earned the award. This was the third year Wheelock has been placed on the Honor Roll, and the second time it has been recognized on the Honor Roll with Distinction.
In September 2013, Jamie Boussicot, Assistant Director of Diversity and Campus Programs and Beth Kaplan, Communications and External Affairs Manager, attended the Third Annual President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge National Gathering in Washington DC.
(Left to right) Jamie Boussicot, Assistant Director of Diversity and Campus Programs; Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education; Beth Kaplan, Communications and External Affairs Manager; Melissa Rogers, Executive Director, White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Annual Community Dialogue on Early Education and Care
Wheelock sponsors a free, yearly conference for community leaders, policy makers, advocates, and educators to discuss the landscape of administration, policy, and provision of early education and care in Massachusetts.
5oaks Mentor Corps
5oaks Mentor Corps mobilizes skilled, experienced educators to prepare, inspire, and retain the next generation of educators in the Greater Boston area.
Wheelock College and Jumpstart launched a formal partnership in the fall of 2005. This partnership pairs college students with preschoolers to promote literacy, language, and social skills. Wheelock students focus solely in the Roxbury area as part of the School Readiness for All Initiative. In addition, The Wheelock Jumpstart site has the largest percentage of student participation of any college or university in the Boston area and continues to be cited as a national model.
Orchard Gardens Pilot School Partnership
Wheelock College and Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School developed a partnership in the fall of 2003 to advance student achievement, provide opportunities for professional development of in-service teachers, and prepare the next generation of teachers, particularly in the area of literacy.
The Passion for Action Scholarship Program
The Passion for Action Scholarship Program supports scholars in learning to nurture and apply their passion to become leaders for positive change in their community, their nation, and the world.
Wheelock College and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) partnered to offer a one-week STEM camp for 20-25 rising 10th grade Boston Public School students. The fundamental role of the camp is to introduce middle school students to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) concepts through a combination of classroom experiments and field experiences at Boston-area companies that include science as an integral part of their businesses.
STEM Teacher Enhancement Project (STEP)
The Wheelock College Aspire Institute launched this program to significantly improve math and science instruction among elementary (Gr. 1-5) teachers. STEP will develop and deliver high-quality, online math and science in-service courses to elementary teachers in the Boston region and beyond.
A college-community endeavor in which Wheelock students and community-based sites facilitate collaborative youth art-making and exhibition in the spirit of Ubuntu.
Wheelock College/Mason Pilot School Partnership
A collaborative effort since the early 1990s, this partnership has continued uninterrupted since then and has grown richer and deeper with time. Wheelock students are placed in year-long internships in Mason's fully inclusive classrooms. Many Wheelock alumni have gone on to become classroom teachers at Mason.