Community Engagement

Community and Economic Engagement

Advancing the Public Good

As the only land grant public research university in the region, UC Riverside bears a responsibility to engage with its communities in ways that maximize the impact of its contributions, advance the social good, and solve pressing problems. UCR recognizes our role as an Anchor Institution in our region. Our future is tethered to the future of the community, and we are committed to deep, long term, mutually beneficial engagement. One of the pillars of UCR's mission is advancing the public good. Our UCR 2030 strategic plan outlines specific initiatives to help us to meet one of our objectives to “serve as an Anchor Institution for Research and Economic Development in the Inland Empire.” Two frameworks in particular, the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement and the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities' Innovation and Economic Prosperity Program, help us to further define and strengthen our engagement with the Inland Southern California region.

UCR Strategic Plan

Document Your Community Engagement

Faculty and staff, please take two minutes to document community engagement and public impact in the community impact database 

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification
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    Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

    In January 2024, UC Riverside was recognized by the American Council on Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching with the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. This elective, evidence-based classification recognizes community-engaged scholarship, teaching, learning and outreach. 

    To receive the designation, our campus has undertaken a rigorous process for self-assessment and continuous improvement. As part of that work, the Carnegie Community Engagement Advisory Committee established an operational definition of UCR community engaged research, learning and service as work that: 

    • Establishes and sustains mutually beneficial, respectful, and sustained collaboration that creates a sense of collective ownership and reciprocal value for the campus (including students, faculty and staff) and community partners 
    • Enriches the scholarship of the institution by accessing community cultural wealth and expertise
    • Addresses community-identified needs and enhances community well-being
    • Deepens students' civic and academic learning, and promotes connections between these through opportunities for critical reflection

    See the full self-study PDF below:


    Carnegie Community Engagement
APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity Program
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    APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity Program

    Our research and innovation enterprise is a key driver for the economy of California’s fastest-growing region. We aim to boost social mobility not only through our students’ individual success, but also by channeling our research and innovation to create businesses and jobs in our region, fostering economic prosperity for all. UCR was recently recognized as a leader in this kind of economic engagement, when we received the Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation in March of 2024.

    In Fall 2022, UC Riverside joined the Association for Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) Innovation and Economic Prosperity Program. This self-study process, concurrent with the Carnegie classification process, has allowed us to ensure a collective understanding of the regional needs for workforce development (talent), support for new and thriving companies (innovation), and collaboration between partners (place). 

    See the full self-study PDF below:


    APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity Program

Community Engagement Opportunities

UC Riverside students, faculty and staff engage with our community in thousands of ways each year. Below please find some of the ways you can engage with our community partners. 

UCR Students
For Students
  • Did you know that you can search for community engaged courses through the student registration page? You can enter it as a filter for your search, just as you would when looking for a breadth course.

  • The community service portal is an easy way to find opportunities to work with a community-based organization for a class, internship, or volunteering

  • You can also search for community-based internships or work on Handshake.

UCR Faculty
For Faculty
UCR Community
For Community Partners

UCR Community Engagement News

UC Riverside students. (UCR/Stan Lim)
Grant funds new Native Community Education Promise Program
UC Riverside’s Division of Undergraduate Education is launching a new initiative to support Indigenous student success with the support of a $10,000 grant from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, or APLU, and Cornell University. The announcement was made Monday, Feb. 12. 
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Underground Scholars students gather under a tent at an outdoor tabling event.
UCR’s prison-to-university pipeline program gets $300K grant from California Wellness Foundation
The Underground Scholars Program at the University of California, Riverside has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the California Wellness Foundation, or Cal Wellness, to help young people involved with the juvenile justice system enroll and succeed in higher education.
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Partnership between UCR and City of Hope aims to increase diversity in cancer research
$13.7M grant from National Cancer Institute will support several projects on breast and pancreatic cancers
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Yucaipa wildfire
Native nations and UC scientists join together in climate fight
Indigenous land-management strategies have been largely missing from modern attempts to combat the effects of worsening climate change in California. A new $7 million grant aims to change that.
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Sick child
Salton Sea environment detrimental to respiratory health of local children
UC Riverside-led study focuses on caregivers’ take on how the sea affects their children’s health
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Kalina Michalska and community members
Researcher-community partnership uses collaborative process to yield novel insights
Until recently, psychologist Kalina Michalska had never used community-based participatory research, or CBPR, in her work, but now she can’t imagine not using it. CBPR, which dates to the early 1930s, is an intensive research approach that involves partnerships between researchers and community members throughout the research process, giving communities a voice in how the research proceeds and allowing them to make use of the findings more effectually.
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Edward T. Chang, professor of ethnic studies and founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UC Riverside. He stands in front of the statue of Korean independence activists, Dosan Ahn Chang Ho in downtown Riverside on May 26, 2021. (UCR/Stan Lim)
Korean American history to become a traveling exhibition
UCR professor receives $850,000 Mellon Foundation grant to share history of American’s first Koreatown.
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Aerial view of dust storm overrunning the Imperial Valley, California. Salton Sea in upper left.
Salton Sea dust triggers lung inflammation
UC Riverside study has health implications for people living around California’s largest lake
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