Social Impact

There is growing demand for universities to prove their value and relevance, and growing opportunity for them to respond to global and local community needs.
-AshokaU’s Trends in Social Innovation 2014

Wesleyan is dedicated to providing an education in the liberal arts that is characterized by boldness, rigor, and practical idealism (Wesleyan Mission Statement, 2010). Social impact has always been in our DNA. Like generations of students before them, today's undergraduates engage with faculty, alumni, and communities worldwide to address pressing problems such as human rights, environmental sustainability, food justice, healthcare, education and more. 


Service-Learning courses integrate experiences outside the classroom with academic curricula, providing experiential education that broadens students’ understanding of course content through activities which are of service to the community.

The Office of Community Service offers volunteer opportunities in Middlesex County, and the Career Center maintains a robust database of internship opportunities for which students can earn money or college credit while having impact.

Through workshops, grants, and advising, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship offers training and support for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and changemakers of all stripes.

Wesleyan community based programs give students hands-on experience: Green Street provides arts education and after school care for Middletown families, the Center for Prison Education brings credit-bearing Wesleyan courses to inmates in Connecticut correctional facilities, WESU has been providing “Community Radio That Matters” for more than 75 years, and Long Lane Farm employs ecological practices to provide organic food on- and off-campus -- to name just a few.

And civically-engaged, mission-driven, high-impact student-led groups abound, from the United Student Labor Action Coalition to the Composting Committee -- and so many more.

Read some of our stories:

Professor Kurtz works with Wesleyan students and alumni at MINDS Foundation in India

Wesleyan African Students Association to Host Africa Innovation Summit

PCSE Seed Grant winners report on their progress

Wear the change you wish to see: Alok Appadurai ‘00