Peace Sculpture


The Jane Addams Center for Civic Engagement (JACCE) provides opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to expand and apply their knowledge while being civically engaged through service projects, volunteer opportunities, and programs. JACCE achieves this vision by pursuit of the center’s mission: To advance the ideals of Rockford University through the study and practice of citizenship, service, and lifelong learning, JACCE provides community service opportunities, community-based learning, fellowship programs, and civically engaged events for the University and the Rockford community.

Rockford University is a member of Campus Compact, a national coalition of universities dedicated to the promotion of community service.

What Is Civic Engagement at Rockford University?

Civic Engagement at Rockford University is a host of activities that connect our students, faculty, and staff with communities beyond our campus to promote thought and action that serve the greater good. We embrace the Thomas Ehrlich definition: “Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.” [1]

Our aim in using civic engagement as a learning tool is to produce meaningful service experiences for students, faculty, and staff as they engage in local and distant communities. The ideal relationship among all involved parties is reciprocal and represents a win-win scenario. The community partners, for example, explain their needs; then our students and faculty/staff work with the community partners to find a sustainable way to address those needs. This produces a meaningful experience for students by serving as a foundation to enhance their work in the classroom, encourage them to consider questions that don’t have easy answers, and explore alternative solutions with a new social consciousness. Civic Engagement on our campus is a part of both the classroom experience through Community-Based Learning classes and service activities through programs and clubs in Student Life. Therefore, our brand of civic engagement ideally transcend into other classes and college experiences (see the wheel below), while setting a foundation for when students move into the world as professionals.

We graphically represent our goal of civic engagement with the Wheel of Civic Engagement. [2]


[1] Ehrlich, Thomas (ed) Civic Responsibility and Higher Education. American Council on Education, Phoenix, Oryx Press, 2000, Print.
[2] Karin Cotterman, 2003‌



JACCE Events
Each year, JACCE sponsors, coordinates, and/or partners with local organizations to provide and promote events to our campus community during the Fall and Spring semesters. Some of these events include:

  • Rock River Valley Blood Drive
  • Fire Fighter Battle
  • Month of Peace
  • Voter Registration and Candidate Debate/Forum
  • Make a Difference Day
  • Veteran’s Day Service
  • Hunger and Homelessness Week
  • Martin Luther King Day of Service
  • Trip to the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Illinois State Capitol
  • Black History Month Celebration
  • Women’s History Month Celebration
  • Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break
  • National Day of Unplugging
  • Student Lobby Day in Springfield, IL

Department Information

Office of Student Involvement and Orientation
Burpee Center, Student Life Suite
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108