Civic Engagement at UVU


The Civic Engagement Strategy is a set of university-wide activities designed to deepen the connection between the campus and our host community. With a focus on non-profit and governmental partnerships, the strategy provides opportunities for UVU students to learn, serve, and assist in the development of our civic culture. The university also serves as a convening force to accelerate civil dialogue, social innovation, and community service. Recognizing the vital role of the university in the well-being of our region, UVU aims to leverage the creativity, expertise, and good will within the university toward the betterment of our community.

University Project


As the flagship of the Civic Engagement Strategy, the University Project marshals the resources of the university to identify and address a specific issue facing our region. Through scholarly expertise, service learning, and targeted partnerships, the project coordinates the efforts of students, faculty, staff, advisory boards, and community leaders. Beginning in 2012, this multi-year project is currently focused on advancing literacy and numeracy in elementary schools across our service region.

Public Service Academy


The Public Service Academy enables UVU students to apply advanced knowledge in their field while creating public value for local government and non-profit organizations. In partnership with these organizations, students receive compensation or internship credit and gain critical experience in their field of study. Through a growing network of organizations, the university is able to create a sustainable pipeline for students entering professional life in the public sector.

Social innovation Incubator


The Social Innovation Incubator offers training, consultation, and incentives for nonprofit organizations and social entrepreneurs. The incubator focuses on efforts that possess the potential for significant social impact and student engagement. Over fifty organizations have benefited from services designed to bolster their innovative capacities, social value, and efficient use of resources. Activities include a summer institute and seed grants for organizations showing exceptional promise.

Social Summit


The Social Summit convenes for-profit, nonprofit, government, K-12, and higher education talent and resources into a united effort to address a pressing social issue facing our service region. The summit serves to broaden the impact of the University Project by drawing in a network of interested community partners. Co-sponsored by Utah Valley University, United Way of Utah County, and the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, the summit demonstrates the value of engaged university partnerships.

Civic Forum


Utah Valley University plays a vital role in facilitating dialogue and debate within our region. The campus is host to a variety of conferences, lectures, public policy panels, and political debates. Issues include economic development, environmental sustainability, religious diversity, ethics education, constitutional  studies, and peace-building. Events in the Civic Forum are free and open to the public and the university encourages broad participation from a diversity of perspectives.

Civic Visits


Beginning in 2011, UVU's President's Cabinet met for breakfast with approximately fifty community leaders from each Utah County community. These breakfasts were held at a facility in the community and were  designed to gather input, share ideas, and identify ways to more effectively partner and collaborate with our regional stakeholders.


2012-14 University Project 

If Utah students are to compete in the global marketplace, our community must make significant strides to improve both literacy and numeracy. A recent study on global competitiveness found that American students in mathematics trailed significantly in their ability to attain "advanced proficiency."

With regard to literacy, three out of ten Utah County third graders are not reading at grade level. The results of an important longitudinal study found that children who do not read proficiently by third grade are four times less likely to receive a high school diploma. This rate increases even further for students living in poverty.

With these considerations in mind, Utah Valley University is uniquely positioned to leverage its collective resources to address these problems and offer identifiable, concrete solutions.

For this reason, we present "Advancing Literacy and Numeracy" as the objective of the 2012-14 University Project.