Mission & Values
The Community Engagement and Leadership Education (CELE) Center provides students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to contribute to thriving communities; building authentic community and campus partnerships drive our work.
CELE shared values
Cultural humility: We aim to amplify the resources and expertise in the communities we work with and acknowledge the privilege we hold as representatives of the University of Washington. We orient ourselves to a constant disposition of learning with respectful curiosity.
Racial equity: We believe in the importance of centering race as the forefront of our work in addressing all other forms of inequities. We believe in a community where all thrive and have the opportunity and resources needed to achieve their goals. We strive to support diverse student populations and equitable educational experiences that allow for access, retention and leadership opportunities. We commit to addressing systemic oppressions, challenging our own individual biases and working towards transforming our culture, policies and practices to accelerate change.
Authentic relationships: Authentic relationships are rooted in mutual growth and shared benefit; recognize individual and community strengths; are centered on honest feedback and a willingness to be vulnerable; and strive to address interpersonal and institutional power imbalances.
Reflective learning: Reflective learning facilitates powerful discovery about societal contexts and complexities–creating the space to think critically about how we can individually and collectively work towards social equity. We create and support learning opportunities that engage students in asking critical questions about self, systems, theory and practice.
CELE Center pillars
These four key pillars underpin our work and reflect our central areas of focus:
Community engaged learning: CELE Center facilitates opportunities that integrate authentic community partnerships with instruction and critical reflection, strengthen communities, enrich the student learning experience and teach civic and social responsibility.
Leadership education: Through the study of leadership concepts, hands-on practice and critical reflection, students develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be contributing members in their communities.
PreK-12 student success: Through mentoring, tutoring and post-secondary planning, CELE Center programs partner with schools and communities for education equity.
Place-based initiatives: Through sustained and mutually beneficial partnerships, place-based initiatives connect the UW with local and regional communities in the ongoing and collective efforts to advance equity in education, health and economic opportunities.
Learning outcomes for student participants
- Deepen self-awareness of one’s values, identities, positionality
- Develop teamwork and collaboration skills
- Understand context of social systems
- Develop skills to advocate for systems change
- Develop mindsets for respectful community engagement (sense of civic responsibility, cultural humility, strengths-based perspective)
- Understand value of reflection and develop skills for reflective learning
- Identify how CELE experiences relate to their academic courses/major and career trajectory
- Leadership can be taught and grows out of experience, practice and reflection.
- Leadership is not about position; everyone can engage in leadership. CELE ensures that leadership education reaches and is accessible to a broad student population that honors diverse leadership perspectives and forms of engagement.
- Students are partners and co-creators of the university experience. CELE engages and empowers students in the visioning and implementation of its strategies.
- Collaboration amongst the many leadership education efforts across campus is critical for knowledge generation, student learning and organizational functioning. Therefore, CELE convenes and promotes communication and collaboration between campus offices and departments in order to coordinate efforts, share resources and strengthen the UW’s ability to cultivate student leadership.
- Our community partners are our co-educators. CELE develops meaningful partnerships with alumni and community leaders to foster students’ learning and leadership development.