BU's community engagement staff serve as a point-of-contact between the University and key community stakeholders, elected officials and their staffs, the regional business community, and the public at large.
Community engagement is critical to the mission of a public university and the development of active citizens who are prepared to make a positive impact in their careers and communities. Our primary goal is to increase collaboration between Bloomsburg University and the larger community around us for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. We continually seek reciprocal partnerships in the public and private sectors that enrich scholarship and creative activities; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; engage citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address key societal needs; and contribute to the public good. If you or your organization would like to discuss engaging with the University and our students, please feel free to contact us.
Bloomsburg University has a monthly newsletter called On the Hill designed for the Bloomsburg town community. The newsletter goes out on or near the first of each month and features upcoming events open to all. If you know anyone who would be interested in receiving the publication, sign up using the button below.
Whether you are a student, faculty member, or community organization – let us know about your civic engagement and community services activities! A few minutes of your time allows us to document the University’s engagement touchpoints across campus as well as recognize you and your student club, class, nonprofit, or other group for your community engagement efforts.
Community engagement activity reporting can be completed by completing this form.
Community Impact Fund
The Bloomsburg University Foundation’s Community Impact Fund provides funding for student professional experience projects in the community. Targeted toward activities that benefit the Town of Bloomsburg and communities throughout Columbia County, funding requests may include (but are not limited to) marketing students for non-profits, engagements within a field of study, and more. Funding rounds are open once per semester, and applications are reviewed by a committee including representation from Bloomsburg University, the Bloomsburg University Foundation, the Columbia County Commissioners, and the Town of Bloomsburg.
Funding rounds are announced via our “On the Hill” community newsletter, and applications may be submitted anytime completing the following:
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Our team is committed to continual engagement both on and off campus to ensure that our community is a safe and welcoming place for all individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status. By connecting the Town of Bloomsburg, our surrounding region, and our students, faculty, and staff to educational events, diversity trainings, and opportunities to meet and learn from people of a variety of different backgrounds, we believe Bloomsburg University can and should serve as a diversity, equity, and inclusion leader in our community. Find out more about the work of the President’s Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by visiting this link.
While providing a high-quality education to our students remains Bloomsburg University’s core mission, we also recognize our broader responsibility to the surrounding region as a state-owned, public university. To that end, Community Engagement regularly assesses the economic impacts – both costs and benefits – that the presence of Bloomsburg University has on our host community, Columbia County, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Some highlights from our most recent assessment can be found in our local economic impact study.
A key part of positive citizenship is appreciating and exercising the right to vote. Ahead of each election – local, state, and national – Community Engagement staff provide nonpartisan, educational information to students on key election dates, voter registration information, and more via our Election Engagement portal. Students can also get their questions answered anytime by emailing email@example.com.
Good Neighbor Program
COMING IN 2021 – Bloomsburg University’s Community Engagement staff is in the process of launching a new “Good Neighbor Program,” a comprehensive initiative aimed at preparing students for community living off-campus, regularly engaging with off-campus student landlords, educating students on BU Student Code of Conduct expectations off campus, and promoting to our student body best practices and behaviors for being a good neighbor in Bloomsburg.
Off-Campus Work Study
Bloomsburg University’s Federal Work Study Program includes funding for off-campus work opportunities. As the employer, your organization has the authority to direct job assignments, regulate hours of work, and ensure that all duties are performed properly, and choose the eligible student(s) you wish to hire and decide if they will continue to be employed each semester.
Bloomsburg University will work with your organization to determine whether work opportunities and students meet eligibility requirements under the Federal Work Study Program, refers employment-eligible students to the employer, determines the number of hours per week a student is allowed to work, determines the start/end dates of employment, completes payroll paperwork, and pays the wages of the student. Community Engagement will work with you to get employment opportunities posted internally through our Office of Alumni & Professional Engagement and will connect you with our Financial Aid Office to complete a Federal Work Study Program agreement. Contact us to find out more!
Bloomsburg University’s “Silver Huskies” initiative aims to engage our region’s senior citizen neighbors both on and off campus. The program includes regular senior citizen campus tours that have brought over 100 area senior citizens to Bloomsburg University to better familiarize them with campus and the many resources it offers to residents of Pennsylvania, regardless of student status. Additionally, regular informational workshops include sessions on our 60+ tuition waivers, library resources, campus dining, and special events. Silver Huskies also has a standing advisory committee that meets quarterly to plan engagement opportunities. This program is currently on hold due to COVID-19, but we look forward to welcoming our neighbors back to campus very soon!
Bloomsburg University holds the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for demonstrating an institutional commitment to volunteerism and community involvement. Higher education institutions participate voluntarily by showing that civic engagement is evident throughout the institution.
When Bloomsburg University first earned the Classification in 2015, it was one of only 240 U.S. colleges and universities among the over 5,000 such institutions in the United States to have the distinction.
To hold the classification, applicants must demonstrate that civic engagement is integrated in the institutions’ missions and woven into the fabric of all aspects of its functions. Details that demonstrate that those things are part of classwork, organization and club activity, athletics, Greek life, student affairs, and more must be thoroughly documented during the application process.
Also, through the lifespan of the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service awards, Bloomsburg University was repeatedly recognized as one of the institutions nationally that achieve meaningful, measurable positive community outcomes as they place students on a lifelong path of civic engagement and help solve regional problems.