The mission of the Office of Community Engagement & Partnerships is to expand local and global initiatives that strengthen and sustain healthy communities, promote social justice, and help improve the quality of life for all. The Office carries out its mission by building mutually beneficial and reciprocal university–community partnerships founded on community engaged scholarship and service-learning pedagogy.

Community engagement is scholarly and pedagogical activities that are carried out in collaboration with, and with potential benefit for, groups and organizations in the municipality or region that contains the university. This includes a wide variety of research, clinical practica, creative performance, and service-learning projects that involve the unique expertise of faculty, staff, and students. The goal is to establish a constructive reciprocal relationship that defines the role of the university within a larger societal context.

As a major research university located in a major urban area, USF has significant relationships with its surrounding host communities. The neighborhoods, institutions, and people of the local region offer opportunities for citizens and scholars to work together on issues of relevance to the community, the nation, and the world. Collaborative partnerships contribute to the research agenda and training of faculty and students in a wide variety of disciplines, and knowledge gained from these activities should be used to address local needs and problems.

As a metropolitan Research I university, USF will serve as a hub in a knowledge-based society in which various communities are involved in all phases of the knowledge process, as opposed to traditional models of universities as dispensers of knowledge in a one-way process. The Office of Community Engagement will assist USF in becoming a fully engaged university integrates teaching, research, and service into a delivery approach that involves its constituents and responds to the needs of diverse communities.