Civic engagement (sometimes called "community engagement") is “an inclusive integration of people from different groups into a larger group and the realization of mutual benefit through working together as partners who give as well as gain. Specifically, [it is] …the collaboration between higher education and their larger communities…for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” Civic engagement, in other words, is any form of interaction between persons or units of the university and non-university persons, groups, or organizations for mutual benefit. It encompasses a range of activities in which faculty, students, staff, or administrators work with members of the community in ways that benefit both.
Civic learning is a form of service learning, one that emphasizes participation by students in efforts by members of a community to work democratically toward sound and widely-supported public decisions and policies.
Community-based learning is learning that takes place outside the classroom, usually in a community or public setting. Students participate in activities that give them experience that is directly relevant to the content of their coursework. An internship is an example of community-based learning.
Community service, or "volunteering," is “any work provided by individuals that contributes to the quality of life in the community. Community service work can be provided in several ways and for different purposes. Students may be involved in community service on their own, with a group or club, or through academic course work. When the community service is part of the academic course work, and when the service relates directly to the course content, it is considered service learning.”
A field trip is an excursion off campus-usually arranged and supervised by faculty-for the purpose of viewing, hearing about, or experiencing a phenomenon, situation, or source of information relevant to the content of an academic course.
A field experience is a faculty-supervised off-campus activity designed to enhance the student's knowledge, know-how (skill in using or applying knowledge), or gathering of data or information relevant to these.
An internship is a university-sponsored, career-related work experience. Internships are on-the-job training and are arranged so that participating students can get a taste of the work actually performed by persons in the field for which they are preparing academically. Students may or may not receive academic credit.
A practicum is a course or segment of a course intended to afford students a supervised practical experience and the chance to apply knowledge in a "real-world" setting. Similar to a field experience, but may be more structured and more formalized.
Service Learning is a form of community-based learning. Specifically, it's “a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly related to course content. Through reflective activities, students enhance their understanding of course content, general knowledge, sense of civic responsibility, self awareness, and commitment to the community.”
Volunteering is any unremunerated work performed by students, faculty, or other members of the University that contributes to the quality of life in the community. University members perform voluntary community service on their own, with a group or club, or in connection with academic course work that does not treat their community activities as community-based learning. (Note: Some voluntary service activities earn participating students one unit of credit.)