Through leadership programs, students match their passion for community engagement with opportunities in programs designed to help them realize their leadership potential and develop their capacity to think freely, critically, and humanely.
Community Engagement is the bridge that connects the Washington and Lee campus to surrounding communities, be they local, regional, national, or global. Here students get hands-on experience, as well as the opportunity contribute to the greater good by collaborating, learning, and growing together with the community in mutually-beneficial ways.
Community engagement complements and enhances learning that takes place in the classroom. It is often through community engagement that students experience connection to the larger interdependent world, find meaning, and make an impact. This is also where many students discover their personal, professional, or civic identity and find a sense of purpose.
With our close ties to the community, our commitment to education, and our mission to prepare students to be engaged, responsible leaders, we provide a unique environment for service and civic engagement in an academic setting. Students have a wide variety of courses to choose from that integrate learning and mentorship in reciprocal and mutually beneficial ways.
W&L boasts over 100 student organizations and clubs, many focusing on special interests, activism, multicultural and diversity groups, and/or community engagement, and others dedicated to service activities both in the local community and beyond.
W&L offers internships that provide meaningful and practical work experience related to community engagement and service. During the semester and summer, students have opportunities for career exploration and development and to learn new skills. Alternative Breaks throughout the year are a unique way for students to serve and learn about real issues impacting people and cities around the country. Alumni host students, who spend the break serving and learning around a specific issue.
There are a variety of on-campus and off-campus jobs students can apply for through either the Federal Work Study or university work-study programs. Many students are awarded work-study as a portion of their financial aid package. W&L's work-study program employs students in several areas of campus including academic, administrative, and athletic offices.
Learning in ActionBy learning in, with and about communities, students develop critical intellectual and civic virtues consistent with the Washington and Lee University mission.