The Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE) at Berkeley City College (BCC) seeks to integrate BCC — students, faculty, staff and administration— in efforts to engage and improve the social, economic, and political interests of the East Bay Area. This integration creates working relationships where students gain first hand experience applying democratic principles of participation and outreach.  It is the position of the ICCE that the partnership of Service and Learning will enhance the overall classroom learning experience and help provide the necessary resources for the fulfillment of the BCC Basic Skills Initiative. We encourage both faculty and students to define education as experiential and relevant to their civic lives and their communities.

The ICCE emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community, and exposes students to a variety of different successful grass roots organizing techniques. While the center has a local focus, we consider state, national, and international issues of vital importance to our local community and seek to outreach at these levels as well. Ultimately, the ICCE’s mission is to instill a sense of civic responsibility in students, and empower them to become informed citizens and lifelong activists.


The ICCE has adopted the following definition of civic engagement as proposed by Dr. Thomas Ehrlich and colleagues in Civic Responsibility and Higher Education:

“Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.” (Preface, p.vi)

“A morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own; such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate.” (Introduction, p. xxvi)