Civic Engagement Concentration: Knowledge, Action and the Public Good (GEC)

This General Education Concentration (GEC) is designed to recognize and cultivate two elements of the college’s mission: informed civic action and responsible stewardship of the wider world. The concentration focuses on coursework and other learning experiences related to civic and community engagement at the local, state, regional, national and global levels, as well as exploration of the reciprocal co-creation of knowledge and its role in promoting the public good.


  • Four courses offered in at least three departments or programs and participation in occasional reflection activities organized by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, including a senior reflection as a culminating experience. The list in the college catalog includes courses tagged as “Community Engaged Learning” (CEL), as well as other approved courses. Only one of the courses applied to the GEC may be a non-CEL tagged course.
  • One course may be replaced by an approved co-curricular experience, thesis, or independent study. Approval for co-curricular projects must be secured by the student prior to undertaking the project, using the guidelines found here.  Once the approved co-curricular project is complete, the student should submit a Project Completion Form found here.  Students wishing to seek approval for a thesis or independent study should contact the GEC coordinator.  In addition, the following co-curricular experiences are pre-approved for inclusion in the GEC:  Bates Civic Action Team, Bonner Leader Program, Community-Engaged Research Fellowship, Harward Center Summer Fellowship, Short Term Action/Research Team, Student Volunteer Fellowship.