As one of Lancaster County’s largest colleges, Millersville University has an annual enrollment of 6,980 undergraduate students, and is ranked 28th in Top Public Schools of the country’s northern region universities. What’s even more impressive is the amount of time and effort students and faculty members dedicate into the surrounding community.
The university’s Civic and Community Engagement program was developed to foster a better sense of just that: community. Through a wide range of programs, students and staff are able to help out various programs throughout Lancaster County, including those pertaining to business, education, government organizations, and social services, just to name a few. Millersville students are able to experience real-life situations under the expertise of their instructors, who search for socioeconomic solutions in local and global communities.
One of the branches this mutually beneficial program is the Walker Center for Civic Responsibility and Leadership. This was created to develop students’ leadership skills applied to community affairs, focusing mainly on politics and local government sectors. Members of this program assist with community polling, promote voting prior to elections, and even host form congressmen and congresswomen on campus to education peers on government processes.
Another community program Millersville offers is the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change, which is partnered with a number of local organizations including Ambassadors for Hope, Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership, and Compass Mark. Providing an opportunity for students and staff members to learn more about community-based research, this program promotes conversation regarding social and political issues that may otherwise be metaphorically swept under the rug unless directly addressed.
Millersville’s Center for Sustainability is another program educating students, faculty, and the community on environmental conservation, social equality, and economic justice, otherwise known as the three pillars of sustainability. Members are able to join in on sustainability initiatives throughout Lancaster County, and are encouraged to research the subject in local and global communities.
Some of the projects they’ve taken part in include the Wheatland Middle School Garden, and TerraCycle at the ‘Ville-age, which was particularly impactful due to its success in the world of recycling. TerraCycle as a company recycles commonly wasted materials, turning them into useful products, such as backpacks, shoes, tents, and much more. By having Millersville University partner with such an innovative company, students and staff are given further education on the topic of sustainability through recycling.
Millersville is one of the most active universities in Lancaster County in terms of community engagement, and has been doing so since 1855. To learn more about their truly beneficial and impactful efforts, visit their community page here.