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Institutes + Centers

Center for Civic Learning & Community Action



The Center for Civic Learning & Community Action (CCLCA) encompasses civic learning and community engagement as a focused effort to bridge political action with personal and professional development for our students, staff, faculty, and community partners. Essentially, this Center is a space that allows for our campuses and partners to gain and share knowledge and skills for civic practice and accountability in an effort to develop deeper connections to community partners to work collaboratively for social justice. Our guiding vision is for members of the Adler community to make a commitment to use their political knowledge and community organizing skills to eradicate injustice and oppression against all people.


Areas of Focus

Areas of Focus

The university-wide responsibilities for the Center include:

  • Align the learning objectives for the Social Justice Practicum (SJP) for all campuses
  • Coordinate and assist with designated Social Justice initiatives and programs 
  • Implement university civic education initiatives
  • Serve as a steward for integrating socially responsible practice into university curriculum and fundraising support

Social Justice Practicum (SJP)
The Center for Civic Learning & Community Action strives to materialize Adler University’s mission of social justice, community engagement and socially responsible practice by introducing graduate students to the SJP, an experiential educational practicum.  Alfred Adler’s focus on community life, prevention, and population health is the inspiration for the Social Justice Practicum. Adlerian psychology emphasizes the human need and ability to create positive social change and impact. By participating in the SJP, students gain ground level experience by working alongside communities to support ameliorative transformation.

In brief, the SJP is a non-clinical and non-discipline specific experiential practicum that occurs during the Fall and Spring Terms. The SJP is designed to help students learn how to work alongside communities as agents of social change; and serves as the catalyst for students to realize and understand their own strengths and responsibility to contribute to social equity. The SJP helps students to gain the knowledge, skills, and perspectives necessary to be socially responsible practitioners.

The SJP’s framework intentionally seeks to materialize an experiential educational practicum for students to acquire the values of social interest, pluralism, courage, excellence, and pragmatism per Adler University’s mission. Using reflection and introspection as tools, the SJP is distinguished from a service-learning opportunity and can be more accurately described as an experiential educational opportunity.

Reflection on the Adler University Mission

Reflection on the Adler University Mission
The Center for Civic Learning & Community Action develops and coordinates Adler’s annual retreat which is a multi-campus event that includes Vancouver, Online, and Chicago community members.  These retreats are constructed to give our students, staff, and faculty a space to:

  • Reflect on the university’s mission
  • Engage in critical dialogue across and within all of our campuses to discuss global problems and share insights on responses and solutions that are indicative of socially responsible practice
  • Gain deeper analysis of social problems that include a historical lens
  • Develop action plans that address social problems, which may include further dialogue in courses, Adler Action Days, and connections to community-led coalitions for social justice movements
Voter Registration Drives and Civic Engagement

Civic learning, reflection, and action are necessary steps that allow us to fulfill our Adler mission.  It is by these means that we are able to challenge systems of privilege and inequity and stand in solidarity with those most affected by discrimination.  To promote civic engagement, the Center leads an annual voter registration drive on campus and in collaboration with community partners to promote.  Moreover, the Center established a “Civics Table” at Adler University to better inform the campus of political and social issues that impact our communities. The “Civics Table” provides resources on social and political issues via one-pagers on critical issues and elected officials as well as summaries of legislation put forth at the federal, state-wide and municipal level.  This is also a hub to review bipartisan information about candidates who are running for local and national offices.

Social Justice Summits

Social Justice Summits

Adler University’s mission for community engagement, social justice, and socially responsible practice requires intentional space and time to reflect, plan, and act.

Our annual Social Justice Summits allow all staff, students, and faculty to engage in this process to uphold and enact our mission.

These summits allow us to engage in a University-wide reflection on socially responsible practice, gain knowledge and skills to expand our activism, and engage in social justice movements.

Please click here to visit the Social Justice Summits site for the latest information and updates.

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Make a Gift

Support the Center for Civic Learning & Community Action in our work to connect students to hundreds of opportunities that create real change in local communities.

Explore More

The SJP Experience: Making Diversity More Accessible

Jessica Thompson, an Online Campus student in the Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program, is completing her SJP at Next Step Ministries, Inc., an organization in Woodstock, Georgia that offers day programs for people with developmental delays.

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The SJP Experience: Helping Migrant Workers Fight for Their Rights

At Adler University, first-year students work with community organizations as intern advocates to help advance social justice.

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Working with Community Partners to Promote Health, Inclusion, and Social Justice

Every year, first-year Adler University students across our campuses choose community organizations to partner with for their Social Justice Practicum.

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