Academic Civic Engagement Courses

Academic civic engagement (ACE) is a high-impact educational practice through a for-credit course or mentored public scholarship that enables students to apply academic knowledge and skills within a real-world context to address community issues and build the civic identity of all participants (students, faculty, community partners).

ACE has three key attributes: intentional experiences with identified and measurable outcomes and the reciprocal exchange of knowledge and resources between all participants (students, faculty, and community partners); critical reflection on personal outcomes, community outcomes, and civic identity; and impact assessment of all participants. Often referred to as community-based research, service-learning, community-based learning, community-engaged learning, and public scholarship, ACE facilitates the development of skills, habits of mind, and relationships that prepare students for future internship, research, civic leadership, and work roles.

Over 600 students take an ACE course each year. To find ACE course offerings for the upcoming academic year, select the Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) checkbox in the St. Olaf Class and Lab Schedule or visit