The work of the Steans Center is a direct reflection of DePaul's Catholic, Vincentian and Urban mission.  The Center provides an academic bridge between the university and community that supports student learning, community development and faculty teaching, research and scholarship. 

Community-university engagement involves mutual respect and shared responsibility between faculty, staff, and community leaders to determine what constitutes curriculum, research and scholarship in partnership with community.  This means valuing open inquiry as to how community representatives understand and perceive the university and how faculty and ultimately students perceive the communities with which they engage.   



Our Mission


The Steans Center develops mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations to engage DePaul students in educational opportunities grounded in Vincentian values of respect for human dignity

and the quest for social justice.


We week to accomplish our mission through community partnerships that:


Advocate for the rights of all people to ensure equal opportunity and fair access to resources that satisfy basic human needs of housing, health, education, employment, safety, and a livable environment.


Support an intellectual and social environment at DePaul where a plurality of world views, cultural diversity, and value systems are respected, understood, encouraged and appreciated, and where students, faculty and community are empowered to become active participants in shaping a more equitable, egalitarian, and livable world.


Build, through service, research and technical assistance, the capacity of communities to realize their self-defined goals and objectives.


Implement community-engaged educational programs and practices that are egalitarian, equitable, and effective for a diverse group of students, faculty, staff, and communities.


Encourage curriculum development and scholarship that highlights the value of knowledge indigenous to communities, a critical, self-reflexive approach to community engagement, ethical values, and the role of community engagement in building a participatory democracy.


Develop with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners a reciprocal, mutual, and trusting process to build authentic campus-community partnerships within a broader social context that addresses power relations.


A Brief History of the Steans Center