About the Centre for Community Partnerships
The Centre for Community Partnerships connects students with opportunities to take action and learn from intentional community-based experiences outside the classroom, while building sustainable partnerships with community organizations across the GTA and Peel regions. These mutually beneficial partnerships help students on all three University of Toronto campuses deepen their understanding of the social, cultural, ethical and political dimensions of civic life through hands-on experiences working with Toronto’s social sector.
The mission of the Centre for Community Partnerships is to strengthen, through community engagement, a culture of learning and development that fosters global citizenship and leads to socially conscious practice.
As a result of the work of the Centre for Community Partnerships:
- University of Toronto will be recognized as graduating socially responsible students;
- University of Toronto faculty will be recognized as socially engaged scholars and educators; and
- Communities will be enriched and see University of Toronto as a resource and collaborative partner.
- Build student capacity for learning and leadership through service-learning and community engagement.
- Build faculty capacity for research and teaching that strengthens student learning and involves and develops communities.
- Support community capacity-building through partnerships with the University to improve and enhance student learning.
- Increase the institutional capacity of the University of Toronto for student community-based learning and development.
History of the Centre for Community Partnerships
The University of Toronto’s Centre for Community Partnerships was founded in February 2005 in response to community safety needs in various neighbourhoods of the City of Toronto with the goal of enhancing student learning and the student experience. In 2004, Toronto’s new mayor, David Miller, formed a Community Safety Panel aimed at reducing gun-related violence and at sustaining factors that contribute to community well-being.
On June 25, 2004, the University of Toronto’s Centre of Criminology hosted a Research Colloquium on Community Safety to assist David Miller’s Community Safety Panel.
The colloquium was organized by a committee of city officials, University faculty and administrators to present on a variety of topics, from gang activity to recreation. Mayor David Miller attended and spoke, expressing his appreciation for the University’s efforts. Several influential and thought-provoking papers were presented and some of them were published in an anthology. Two years later, the 2006 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) inspired U of T to identify “enhancing the student experience” as an institutional priority. Student involvement in co-curricular activities improves the overall educational experience.
One of the University’s academic initiatives was to enhance student participation in the wider community through course-based and co-curricular opportunities. The University responded by creating the Centre for Community Partnerships (CCP) to develop, with community organizations, partnerships that are defined, sustainable and action-oriented for students on all three U of T campuses. These partnerships have a dual aim to build educational and resource capacity within communities of the GTA and Peel Regions, and to enhance and broaden student learning.