Community Resources

The Civic Scholarship Project joins together university faculty and students in research projects that meet needs in the greater community. It provides real-world laboratories for faculty and students to partner with city and regional organizations to solve problems, develop policy, and educate the public regarding issues of local, regional, and national significanceAlready the initiative has engaged in partnerships with the city, county, and the state on areas of such strategic importance as a species mapping of Commencement Bay to help restore the Sound, achievement gap partnerships with Tacoma Public Schools to address issues of race in education, a county-wide strategic plan to reduce homelessness, and a campus-community partnership to reduce solid waste and develop sustainable practices.

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The Race and Pedagogy Initiative is a collaboration of the University of Puget Sound and the South Sound community, focused on educating students and teachers at all levels to think critically about race and to act to eliminate racism. The initiative integrates the intellectual assets of the campus into mutual and reciprocal partnership with local experience and expertise. It engages campus and community in a sustained and committed effort to mitigate the effects of discrimination and structural racism, and thereby, improve education for all students.

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Puget Sound’s Sound Policy Institute seeks to restore and sustain the natural environment of the south sound in balance with a healthy, prosperous, and just community. The Institute fosters collaborative and innovative solutions to the environmental challenges of our region by connecting diverse stakeholders to each other and providing links to the academic resources and educational opportunities of the university. It also aims to build the capacity of individuals and groups, both on our campus and in our regional community, to actively and effectively engage in the environmental decision-making process.

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Puget Sound’s Community Involvement and Action Center (CIAC) is the primary connection between the campus community and the city of Tacoma for student community service and service learning activities. CIAC offers students many opportunities to become active citizens in our community while completing their degree at the University of Puget Sound.  Approximately 75% of students are involved in some type of service each year, among the highest participation rates in the country. CIAC assists in excess of 150 community agencies.  In addition to serving the community as students, many of our graduates choose Tacoma and the region as their home after graduation, helping to strengthen Tacoma's economy and renaissance.

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Since 1995, Puget Sound’s Access Programs have worked in partnership with Tacoma Public Schools to support local students throughout the academic year and summer months, and increase the number of students from underrepresented populations who go on to college. The goals of the program are simply to expand college opportunities; encourage academic success; and improve the retention of those students who choose to ultimately attend the University of Puget Sound.   89% of the students who have completed the Access program have gone on to college; 18 of 648 have enrolled at Puget Sound.  Access Programs students are under no obligation to attend the University of Puget Sound. Whether students choose to attend Puget Sound or another institution, the skills acquired in the program will help them succeed in both college and in their careers.

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The Community Music Department of the School of Music at Puget Sound is a year-round program which provides non-credit musical instruction to students of all ages and skill levels. Community Music offers opportunities for those who aspire to careers in music as well as for those who seek musical instruction purely for artistic fulfillment. Motivation and interest are the only entrance requirements. The department proudly brings together the area's finest teachers and artists, many of whom also serve as University of Puget Sound professors and affiliate artists.