A project of the Michigan Nonprofit Association
In 1985, the national Campus Compact entity was formed as a coalition of higher education institution presidents who saw the importance of campus-based civic engagement. Mr. John Marshall, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation, had been introduced to the national Campus Compact organization. He advocated for Campus Compact to come to Michigan, and with the assistance of the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF), used the leveraging power of his position and his personal leadership to start the organization in Michigan. The Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC) was formed in 1989 as a three-year demonstration project, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), with Ms. Diana Algra at the helm. MiCC originally consisted of five institutions that were committed to connecting students with volunteer efforts aimed at combating social issues. Moreover, through these opportunities students built a lifelong ethic of civic engagement and community service.
MiCC entered its second phase of development in 1992, focusing its efforts on recruiting new members and expanding the services offered to them. Then in 1995, due to financial strain, it became an affiliate of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA). In a planned move in 2000, a successful fundraising effort led to the creation of a new volunteer infrastructure organization, the ConnectMichigan Alliance (CMA), and MiCC became an affiliate, separating from MNA. In 2007, however, CMA and MNA merged. MiCC remains as an affiliate at MNA and is financially supported by the ConnectMichigan Endowment. Michigan Campus Compact currently has 38 members, including a mix of public, private, secular, faith-based, two-year, and four-year institutions.
Ms. Amy Smitter, who served as executive director of the Michigan Campus Compact from 1999 to 2009, before becoming the director of institutional development for the national Campus Compact until 2014, said of Campus Compact:
I think college and university presidents give energy to Campus Compact because they really believe in education and they believe in the power of education. They believe that higher education has a civic purpose to promote our democracy. By joining Campus Compact, they are able to be part of a larger conversation about that. In addition to that, Michigan Campus Compact is the only place in the state of Michigan where two-year, four-year, public, private, secular, and faith-based institutions get together and talk. It’s around this idea of service, volunteerism, how do we create a stronger state, how do we create stronger students who learn and want to stay here in the state of Michigan or do good things for the world.
Michigan Campus Compact uses a variety of programs to build civic engagement on college campuses. One such program is the College Positive Volunteerism project, which trains college students who are volunteering with K-12 youth to engage with them on the topic of higher education. College Positive Volunteers then serve as resources for the youth, providing them with support and information about college preparation, college options, college finances, and career selection.
MiCC also uses financial support in the form of grants to its members to achieve its goals. Venture Grants are used to support individuals or groups from membership institutions who are seeking to develop or expand community service programs or service-learning opportunities. Similarly, MiCC helped fundraise for, and administer the Investing in College Futures grant, and partnered with the Department of Human Services to help foster care youth attend college through the Foster Care College Initiative.
Finally, MiCC uses conferences and awards to identify and develop leaders in civic engagement on campuses throughout the state. The Civic Engagement Institute within Campus Compact holds a Bi-annual conference with workshops highlighting different practices for engaging students as well as various case studies. MiCC also hosts the annual Active Leaders Student Conference, which presents student leaders with successful models in leading community service initiatives, as well as an opportunity to learn valuable skills and to network with other student leaders and nonprofit professionals.
Video: Watch leaders discuss Michigan Campus Compact: