Civic Engagement at William Paterson

Community Impact

One theme of the Fall 2016 Eastern Regional Campus Compact conference held in Newark New Jersey was transitioning from Civic Engagement and Service learning to a Collective Impact Model. Collective Impact occurs when organizations from different sectors agree to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, aligning their efforts, and using common measures of success. As an active and founding member of the New Jersey Campus Compact (NJCC), William Paterson University supports and participates in the NJ Statewide Community Impact VISTA Project by supporting a VISTA Member working with United for Prevention in Passaic County.

William Paterson University is also supporting the transition to a Collective Impact Model through the Paterson Metropolitan Region Research Center. The Center seeks to promote a greater understanding of the history, importance, and contemporary relevance of the Paterson metropolitan area to North Jersey’s citizens. Its primary mission is to connect faculty and students with community-based research. In addition to connecting students from relevant undergraduate and graduate programs with community-based research projects, the center also hosts an annual conference as well as special events on campus and in the region.

In addition, the William Paterson University Small Business Development Center has been began serving area small business owners since 1997. A variety of educational and business resources are available to counsel and train small business owners to finance, market and manage their companies. William Paterson University students and staff are encouraged to take advantage of SBDC services, including the periodic workshops offered at no cost to the university community. The NJSBDC network also provides opportunities for students to participate in research and get first-hand business experience under the supervision of faculty and business professionals while helping local small businesses. Housed within the University’s Cotsakos College of Business, William Paterson’s SBDC is a private organization of professional management consultants partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the New Jersey Economic Growth and Tourism Commission, and community-based organizations such as the Paterson Urban Enterprise Zone.

The mission of the William Paterson Professional Development Schools Network captures the principles of the collective impact models supported by the university as well: “The William Paterson University Professional Development School Network is a partnership that shares research, resources and innovative practices to optimize learning for all.” This mission statement embodies the commitment both the university and school partners have to the learning of both the K-12 students and the pre-service candidates as well as the faculty, staff and administrators in each of our institutions.  It also speaks to the striving for excellence inherent in conducting and utilizing research and implementing and modeling innovative practice.  Finally, the mission statement reflects the willingness of all members to share available resources to benefit all parties.