Community Engagement Center

Community Engagement Center


The University of Wisconsin‐Whitewater Community Engagement Center’s Mission, in keeping with the Wisconsin Idea manifests the general principle: that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom by promoting and coordinating services, learning opportunities, and innovation for communities that are historically underserved. Synonymous with Wisconsin for more than a century, this “Idea” has become the guiding philosophy of university outreach efforts in Wisconsin and throughout the world.

The UW‐Whitewater Community Engagement Center is a one‐of‐a‐kind place, designed to combine great ideas and organizations with the boundless energy of the UW‐Whitewater campus. Every day , in our meeting rooms, hallways, and offices, people build mutually beneficial collaborations and find creative ways to make a difference in our community.

View our Community Engagement Center Advisory Committee Charter for more information.


The Community Engagement Center (CEC) will serve as the central hub to which all faculty, staff, students, and community members should feel engaged with and supported to conduct community–engaged learning, projects, and research.

Core Principles

The Community Engagement Center builds on the university’s long history of community involvement and service by working with community partners to:

  • Support collaborative university‐community partnerships built on trust and reciprocity
  • Ensure the university is responsive to and positively impacts the surrounding community
  • Ensure that community engagement remains central to the University’s core academic mission
  • Serve as a catalyst to create new opportunities for student success

A dedicated conference board room has been set-aside for Community Non-Profits at no charge. City of Whitewater agencies are invited to reserve the board room for their meetings, in addition, they are welcome to post their agency logo in the room.

This is an open and un-programmed area for students, faculty and community members to interact with each other on collaborative projects.

There are four (4) dedicated meeting spaces with movable walls to allow flexible options for a variety of programming, including but not limited to adult learning workshops, training sessions, conferences, community meetings and other programs.

This center provides no-cost personalized business consulting to help businesses start, grow, or transition.  The SBDC at UW-Whitewater covers Jefferson, Walworth, Rock and Dodge counties and is part of a network of 11 offices statewide.  For example, in 2018 the Whitewater SBDC worked with over 150 clients, helped 14 new businesses form and assisted clients in obtaining over $13 million in capital through loans or equity investments.

Provides essential information for business and new product development decisions for companies and inventors throughout the United States. WISC connects inventors and innovative companies with the resources of the College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the largest business college in Wisconsin.

This is a certified computer testing center that offers educational assessments, aptitude and professional exams, as well as professional certification testing. For example:

  • BCSP exam (Safety Professionals Training),
  • ACE Fitness (Personal Trainer Certification), and
  • OPIc proficiency tests (I.e. Spanish fluency testing)
  • teaching certifications and other required certifications that students need for practicums or to fulfill degree requirements

This is a recent addition to UW-W programming. CSCSB’s mission is to educate and mitigate the Cybersecurity threat to small businesses.  The CSCSB has a proprietary free assessment which will assign a cyber-threat risk score to a small business.  Mitigation curriculum is in development which will allow clients to reduce their threat level through education and implementation of best practices.

The UW-W Immigration Specialist will host workshops to provide essential, non-legal advice for community members seeking assistance with navigating the immigration process. We are currently exploring opportunities for partnerships with other entities in the area as well as offering training and other marketable resources for subject-matter experts in the region.

Building on a successful undergraduate social work program, the MSW was started in 2018 to help prepare future advanced social workers to enter the field of social work. MSW students are currently placed in 42 community agencies, providing support for mental health concerns, addictions, disabilities, health care, domestic violence, corrections, employment, etc. The goal is to grow the program to serve more community members, with the potential to use our space to help facilitate individual and group counseling.

This is a dedicated instructional lab for training future workspace inspectors and industrial hygienists on the proper techniques for work-place safety. The large meeting areas also provide additional opportunity for the OEHS program to more fully develop their summer certification workshops for working professionals in the workplace safety industry.

The University will maintain a print shop which will be open to the community and offer a wide-array of print opportunities and services. As the City of Whitewater residents currently do not have access to a business which offers print service opportunities, the UW-W print shop will work to fill that need.  Customers will have convenient access to the shop and staff eager to assist with their printing needs.  Including but not limited to:  document printing and copying, brochures, flyers, booklets, programs, presentations and manuals, business cards, posters, cards and invitations. 

Serves as a regional, state, and national leader in the support of persons with disabilities.  CITEE strategically utilizes, develops, and implements assessment, research and data-informed best practices of equity, inclusion, and diversity through the array of services, education, research and consultation. Current projects include professional development programming, career counseling services, employer consultation, and applied research. Employment Connections, a CITEE program, works with current UW-Whitewater students and alumni, consumers of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and employers to make connections that foster diversity and inclusion. CITEE strives to improve well-being of persons with disabilities through inclusion in education, employment, and community.

These areas are considered to be Practicum Labs, therefore instructional, but the intent is for community interface through show development and set-up, gallery shows and viewing times, visiting artist events, such as a drawing or graphic seminar/workshop.  Each space has a glass overhead door that allows views into the space when closed but opens up to allow interaction with others.  The Gallery and Archive provides the opportunity for the permanent collection to be displayed more frequently.

This space is intended for storage rental opportunities. Further exploration is necessary to determine appropriate usage.

The facility has been given a visual presence from West Main Street along with a defined primary student entrance and a secondary client entrance along the south façade. Considerations were made for the needs of students, clients, and staff and focused on bike parking , outdoor seating areas and opportunities for “outdoor rooms”. The primary thrust of the South Canopy is closely connected to the idea of a river carving a path through a nature preserve, and the Bark River and Whitewater Creek Nature Area were used as an inspirational starting point. By varying the opacities of the canopy material the entrance will offer both shading from the southern sun exposure as well as privacy for the clinics ground floor while simultaneously offering opportunities for an exterior connection from within the interior of the facility. The architects have used the “river” to create outdoor seating ledges, and give shape to the canopy, much in the same way the river carves through the landscape.

“I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every family of the state.”
UW President Charles Van Hise in 1905