Community Engagement Center

Community Engagement Center

The UW‐Whitewater Community Engagement Center (CEC) is a facility for the university and larger community to collaborate on mission-based university efforts, inspired by The Wisconsin Idea. The CEC will continue our long history of community involvement and service to our partners in Whitewater and the surrounding areas by serving as a unique, off-campus hub focused on providing professional, educational, printing, and additional services. 


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

This space is intended to serve a fluid, mixed-use purpose, which is demonstrated by the room layout that includes arm chairs, booths, and large conference-style tables accompanied by refreshments and vending for all to use. Students are encouraged to casually meet here for group projects or work individually on course assignments facilitating networking. The co-working area is open during building hours, no reservations are needed. 

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. For more information or to reserve this space, email 

There are four 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. For questions or reservations, email 

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.

Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) market research and analysis informs key business and product development decisions for clients in Wisconsin and throughout the United States. The center connects small businesses, entrepreneurs, and inventors with the resources of the College of Business and Economics through expert consulting and customized projects completed by university student research anaysts and digital marketing specialists. WISC projects help clients assess market feasibility, identify opportunities for diversification and growth, learn about customer characteristics and preferences, better understand the competitive landscape, and chart a clear path for marketing success.

Entrepreneurs, business owners, and inventors looking for insights and action plans for marketing their products and services can learn more at or contact WISC at (262) 472-1365 or email 

This is a certified computer testing center that offers educational assessments, aptitude and professional exams, as well as professional certification testing. The UW-Whitewater Testing Office is also authorized to administer Pearson VUE and Castle Worldwide Exams (also known as Scantron).  For more information or full listing of test available, visit For questions or to schedule a test, email or call 262-472-5613. 

  • ACE Fitness (Personal Trainer Certification)
  • ACT (American College Testing)
  • BCSP Exam (Safety Professionals Training)
  • CLEP (College-Level Examination Program)
  • GRE (Graduate Records Exam)
  • Language Proficiency Tests (OPIc and WPT)
  • LSAT (Law School Admission Test)
  • Teaching Certifications
  • Other required certifications that students need for practicums or 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 ongoing workshops to provide general immigration expertise and general assistance to UW-Whitewater international faculty in regard to form I-485 and EB-1 or EB-3 upgrades. This is a special offering for our international faculty, outside the scope of university sponsorship, that is not provided by other UW-System institutions. 

We will also 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.

The workshops will typically be held in English and, if requested, in Spanish; if another language is requested, we will do our best to accommodate. For questions or more information about these services, contact Margaret Wheeler, Esq. at 262-472-1494 or 

MSW students are currently placed in over 50 community agencies, providing support for mental health concerns, addictions, disabilities, health care, domestic violence, corrections, and employment, among other areas. The program aims to grow and serve more community members, with the potential to use our space to help facilitate individual and group counseling. For more information about the MSW program, contact Sarah Hessenauer at 262-472-1203 or 

This is a dedicated instructional lab for training future occupational, environmental safety, and health (OESH) professionals on state-of-the-art principles and techniques. The CEC meeting areas will provide additional opportunities for the OESH program to develop new summer certification workshops for professionals in the ESH field. For more information about the OESH Safety Lab, please contact the lab director, Dr. Donna Vosburgh, at 262-472-1252 or 

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 document printing and copying, brochures, flyers, business cards, and more. For more information, please visit, email, or call 262-472-1002. 

CITEE serves as a regional, state, and national leader focusing on community, state partners, education, and employer engagement for assessment and improvement of quality of life and employment outcomes persons with disabilities and other underrepresented groups. CITEE strategically utilizes, develops, and implements research and best practices of equity, inclusion, and diversity. CITEE develops and implements partnerships, data informed best practices in the field, and applied research and assessment. For more information, visit or call 262-472-1702. 

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. For more information, please email 

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

CEC Blog