Community Engagement Resources

Things to Know

Remember, you are not there to save other people, rather you are expressing servant leadership and upholding the social responsibility to commit time and efforts to your community.

  • Dedication and commitment to serving can be greatly increased when you are doing something you are passionate about.
  • Be aware you will encounter people who have had different experiences and backgrounds.
  • Listen to what community members have to say and remember you are there to serve them.

Participating in service has both communal and personal benefits.

Communal Benefits

  • Serving provides opportunities for stories and experiences to be shared between SMU and community members who may otherwise not have interacted with one another.
  • Consistent service means there are ongoing conversations between SMU and community members regarding the issues faced.
  • Community organizations appreciate students’ ability to offer new ideas, unique perspectives, and serve as youth role models within their volunteer roles.

Personal Benefits

  • Research shows participating in service offers students an opportunity to strengthen their skills in several areas such as academic performance, leadership skills, and teamwork.
  • Serving can improve students’ feeling of civic responsibility, desire to help others, and appreciation of other racial and cultural groups.
  • Serving prepares students to be part of society as an active citizen.
 Social issues that
matter to you
 Your motivation Transportation  Type of work   Making the commitment
  • Which social issues are you passionate about?
  • Which social issues do you want to expand your knowledge in?
  • What are you looking to gain through serving
  • Which communities are you interested in serving?
  • Are you interested in gaining certain skills?   
  • What are your options for transportation?
  • Is it easier to serve closer to or on SMU’s campus? 
  • What service opportunities are located along the DART line or SMU bus route? 
  • Are you looking for group or individual opportunities?
  • What type of skills can you offer? 
  • What is your availability? (Weekday/weekend)
  • Can you regularly commit your time?
  • Can you be fully present while serving? 

To get started, schedule a volunteer consultation with SCIE

  1. Log into Connect and go to the “Organizations” tab
  2. Search the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE)
  3. Under the “Forms” section, fill out the “Volunteer Consultation Request” form

The Community Engagement (CE) proficiency is required as part of the SMU Common Curriculum. The goal of this proficiency is for students to develop the “knowledge, skills, values, and motivation necessary to contribute to the civic life of communities.” SCIE can help you fulfill your CE Proficiency through:

  • Alternative Breaks - A service-based student organization offering three to five day service trips to students during academic breaks to educate them about social issues in communities beyond Dallas.
  • Engage Dallas - A place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on south and west Dallas.
  • Mustang Heroes - A service-based student organization offering over 15 monthly, weekly, and bi-weekly service projects to students. 

Frequently Asked Questions

SCIE can help connect you to a service opportunity that works for you! During our service consultation you’ll discuss the social issues which are most important to you and we will connect you to Dallas Community Organizations which serve that need.

Email with your availability to set up an appointment. 

Due to the volume of requests for volunteers that we receive, we serve primarily as an information bank and resource for our students. The more we know about your organization and the service opportunities offered, the better we are able to make a “match” or direct the opportunity to a student or student group. We provide information about organizations and opportunities to students, and it’s up to them to contact you directly to arrange the volunteer work. We’re unable to guarantee any volunteers, but we do our best to promote the opportunities to our students.

Fill out our Community Organization Database form here to be included in our database.