Getting Involved in the Community

Citizenship is central to Political Science and International Relations, and MTSU is a part of a broader community, and you have considerable opportunities to engage in active citizenship and be a real part of our community.

What You Will Find on This Page

  1. The Value of Community Involvement
  2. Department Opportunities for Community Involvement
  3. University Opportunities for Community Involvement

1. The Value of Community Involvement

When you graduate, you will apply for professional jobs or law school admission or graduate school admission. The degree and the gpa get you into the pool of seriously considered applicants. The challenge, of course, is to be one of the people selected from this pool and actually hired or admitted. You need to stand out—at least a little bit—from all the other people who have earned a degree with a similar gpa. You need to do some things while here to help you stand out from all the other applicants you will be competing with; being active and volunteering in the community is one of the things you can do

Community involvement is an essential value in a free, open, and democratic society. Students who get involved in the community while in college report deep satisfaction and a deep sense of purpose, and are far more likely to be active in their communities after college too. In short, you grow as a person.

Community involvement also brings immediate personal benefits, allowing you to demonstrate professional habits, boost their resumes, and build important contacts.

On the Immediate Benefits of Community Involvement

2. Department Opportunities for Community Involvement

The Department strongly supports community involvement. The Department offers a range of Experiential Learning and Service Learning Courses, and offers the minor in Political and Civic Engagement, which includes PS 4950.

PS 4950. Community-Based Research Practicum

Students are given supervision in planning and carrying out an applied social research project that is defined in partnership with a local civic group, nonprofit agency, or public department. Students may work individually or in groups of up to six. A final report is presented to the community partner at the end of the course. Projects must be approved prior to enrollment. Depending on the size of the project, from one to six credits are earned. 

3. University Opportunities for Community Involvement

MTSU is an integral part of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, and supports student community involvement. There are many options for getting involved.

MTSU Options for Getting Involved

  • Student Organizations
    • There are dozens of student clubs and organizations that are active both on campus and in the broader community. Skim though the list of organizations to find a group that interests you, and you can get active and involved instantly.
  • Experiential Learning (EXL)
    • MTSU believes in the value of applied knowledge -- Through EXL, students, staff, faculty and local businesses and organizations can find valuable ways to interact and encourage diversity and collaboration throughout MTSU and the community, merging classroom knowledge with real-world work environments. You can take individual EXL courses or earn an EXL Certificate on your transcript.
    • The EXL Scholars Program maintains partnerships with nonprofit organizations in the area and has an online Non-Profit Volunteer Needs Database to help students and faculty locate appropriate experiential and service learning opportunities. This innovative database can be viewed in various ways and is very easy to use. It offers a direct way to connect students and faculty members to community partners. The database can be sorted by the type of services provided by each organization as well as by the various learning opportunities available and relevant areas of study for each volunteer position.
    • Go To: Non-Profit Volunteer Needs Database (username: exlvol / password: volunteer)
  • Service Learning
    • Service-learning is a student centered teaching method that involves academic instruction in partnership with MTSU and the larger community. The primary focus of service-learning is to enhance critical and reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in organized community partnerships that address local needs while developing their academic skills and sense of civic responsibility and community.

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