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The Challenge, Our Solution

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Since the establishment of the United States, institutions of higher education have played a role in providing a civic education to create citizens capable of upholding our democratic government. This is one of the public purposes of higher education: preparing citizens to take an involved role in democracy. 

“Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.”

John Dewey

This being true, community and civic engagement are essential aspects of higher education. However, even on the campuses where they are recognized as such, faculty and staff often find themselves searching for resources, creating programs, advocating to administration, and generally forging their way on their own. Seed Coalition is an organizing body for our network – sharing resources, facilitating connection and communication, and supporting those on our member campuses who are doing the invaluable work of civic and community engagement. We know that this is collective work, and we can do it better when we do it together.

A group of students and faculty at a program.

We know that colleges and universities – whether they are two- or four-year institutions, community colleges or research universities, urban or rural – are essential to the continuing democratic project of our country. We aspire to build the capacity of our coalition so that they can instill in their students a dedication to civic and community engagement, which we know empowers and improves communities while serving to strengthen students’ learning. Seed Coalition does our work so that our member campuses can continually improve upon theirs.

As we move into the next chapter of our organization’s work, we want to emphasize that this is more than simply a network or a compact. We are a coalition – a group of people moving together toward action. Our dedication to community & civic engagement in higher education promotes a more engaged, just, and democratic society and has always been guided by the values of collaboration, connection, and coalition-building. We believe in the power of community engagement as a tool for strengthening institutions of higher learning and the communities in which they reside, in the pursuit of a true and engaged democracy for all.

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Together we are creating community-campus  partnerships, building professional networks, empowering future leaders, and delivering on the public purposes of higher education.

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Seed Coalition strengthens the capacity of colleges and universities to fulfill the public purposes of higher education through its coalition of diverse college campuses in Iowa, Minnesota, and the Midwest. Our network includes rural and urban campuses, public universities and private colleges, community colleges, and trade schools.

We connect higher education professionals who work in the spaces of community and civic engagement and educate students through community and civic learning experiences. Learn about our mission and values and meet our members.

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