Impact on Campuses


The integration of a four-year developmental civic engagement pathway through the Bonner Program enables colleges and universities to build and strengthen their culture and infrastructure for community engagement in many ways, seen and felt. The Bonner Program can catalyze deep changes in the fabric of the institution, not only for students but also for faculty and staff, reinforcing a culture of  teaching and learning, collaboration, and innovation.

We have found that engaging a cohort of students, as small as 30 or as large as 160, in working with community partners over multiple years shifts community service from a placement to project model. Students engage much more intensively than in a single course and for much longer than one term. With deep partnerships, the possibilities for projects expands, in ways that can engage teams of students and faculty working towards a strategic vision. All of this makes our goals for campus-wide culture and integration possible. 

Our campus-wide goals are:

  • Position the Bonner Program as a model and catalyst for campus-wide engagement – with student leadership as a core component
  • Support the creation and development of campus-wide centers, which play an important brokering and educational role off campus and as experts in community engagement on campus
  • Integrate community engagement across the institution, including with mission and across academic and administrative departments
  • Support the development of integrative educational and experiential pathways that culminate in Community Engaged Signature Work or capstones
  • Support the development of professional staff and faculty who design, teach, lead, and manage this work
  • Help to reimagine teaching, learning, and scholarship – including by providing support for faculty development, engagement, and rewards.



student-led campus-wide engagement

strengthening campus-wide centers

Creating a Bonner Program often facilitates the development of sustained infrastructure for campus-community partnerships and community engagement, such as dedicated staffing and coordinating centers.

Driving Integration Across the Institution

The Bonner Program can foster integration of community engagement across the institution – including with admissions, financial aid, student success, and academic departments.

Leveraging Proven High-Impact Practices

The Bonner Program consists of several high-impact practices, and the Foundation has supported work to scale the opportunity for students to participate in high-impact practices tied with community engagement.

Pathways that Culminate in Community Engaged Signature Work

The Bonner network is working to transform programs and curriculum to ensure that all students have opportunities to tie college learning to real-world experience through integrated capstones.

Developing and Engaging Staff and Faculty

Just as the program is developmental for students, so too we provide a range of opportunities for professional staff and faculty to be equipped as leaders within their campuses, communities, and the field. 


Endowed Campus Centers

Learn about the centers that have developed as a result of the partnerships between the Bonner Foundation and institutions of higher education.

Institutions Earn the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

More than half of campuses in the Bonner Network (and three-quarters of those with established four-year Bonner Programs) have earned the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Higher Education Leaders Attest to the Impact of the Bonner Program on Campuses

Presidents have affirmed how the presence of the Bonner Program has transformed their institutions’ cultures and commitment to student learning and civic engagement.