Key of Excellence Spotlight: University of Miami Office of Civic & Community Engagement


In April 2015, the University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement (CCE) received the Key of Excellence Award for its exemplary cross-campus commitment to advance the civic purposes of higher education through engaged scholarship and community outreach. 

Harnessing the university’s diverse academic resources, its connections to the region, and its spirit of innovation, the CCE fosters university-community collaborations, helps to solve complex social problems, and prepares students to make significant contributions to community well-being in South Florida. 

Phi Beta Kappa particularly applauds the CCE’s extensive array of arts and sciences community-based projects for underserved and vulnerable populations in Miami, which is known to lag behind other U.S. metropolitan regions in indicators of civic well-being.

Major initiatives that engage the South Florida community with the arts, humanities, and sciences include:

  • UM Civic Scholars encourages civic engagement and community-based learning through a variety of courses, research projects, and co-curricular programs. Academically, community-based courses and research opportunities are available each semester, in addition to internships with local community organizations.
  • Civic Engagement High School Partnership partners UM students with Southridge High School teachers in history, language arts, and sciences to enhance the curriculum, give guest lectures, and mentor students. The goals are to promote a college-going culture among traditionally underserved students and to enable UM students to translate their research interests into practical classroom learning.
  • Engaged Faculty Fellows incentivizes the development of academic service-learning courses by awarding $2,500 summer stipends to five faculty members. Explore their extensive range of arts and sciences community-based projects.
  • Imagining America Research Collaborative on Civic Professionalism seeks to develop and implement a framework for promoting civic engagement as the connective tissue between liberal arts education in the arts and humanities, and the values and skills of civic professionalism in the professional world for our graduates.

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About Phi Beta Kappa’s Key of Excellence Award:
Recipients of Phi Beta Kappa’s Key of Excellence Award must demonstrate a strong record of success at engaging the public across multiple disciplines in the arts and sciences. Their work must make highly visible the excellence, range, and relevance of the arts and sciences to their communities through public programming and community outreach. In addition, programs must engage diverse constituencies in program planning and execution while improving the availability of and access to the arts and sciences in their community. Nominate a program here.



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