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Community Engagement

Past Strategic Plans & Impact

The Impact of Our Last Strategic Plan

As we reach the end of our first strategic plan, we reflected on our accomplishments to date and where we have had significant impact. In particular, we developed a solid foundation of practices and infrastructure for community-engaged work at the University and within the Hamilton community. Most objectives that guide our work are ongoing—they require us to continually strive towards embedding community engagement in the processes and policies at the University, building relationships with community partners, and removing barriers to working together. All with an eye on impact, we have highlighted some outcomes that we have achieved in the last 4 years as they relate to the goals in our first strategic plan.

Expandable List

  • Embedded the principles into undergraduate curriculum within the Community Engagement Minor including our Foundations Course CMTYENGA 2A03, McMaster Child and Youth University program courses CMTYEMGA 2MC3 and 2MD3 and our Semester in Residence courses CMTYENGA 4A06/4A09.
  • Facilitated over 125 presentations to McMaster staff, students and faculty on the principles of community engagement.
  • Established 2 awards: the President’s Awards for Community-Engaged Research (Scholarship) and MSU Community Engagement Teaching Award. To qualify for the awards, nominees were required to articulate how their work reflected the principles of community engagement.
  • Recognized 3 campus and community partnerships through the President’s Awards for Community Engaged
    Research with each partnership receiving $10,000 to foster their continued research projects.
  • Responded to a request to join the Carnegie Foundation Canadian Pilot Classification Cohort designed to review and embed principled community engagement into the policies and practices of the University.
  • Established the OCE as a central bridge between the University and greater Hamilton community.
  • Successfully advocated for decreased parking fees for community partners entering campus and worked with Continuing Education to provide meeting space for McMaster affiliated community groups.
  • Facilitated Change Camp Hamilton three years in a row, creating hundreds of community-engaged experiential learning opportunities and developing stronger partnerships and relationships with the City of Hamilton, the Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton, the Hamilton Community Foundation, Mohawk College, Redeemer University College. The series engaged over 500 attendees and directly contributed 234 action recommendations to the City of Hamilton’s Our Future Hamilton 25-year vision.
  • Facilitated 4 annual Community-Campus Idea Exchanges to bring over 600 community and campus partners together on and off campus to discuss collaborative strategies to address shared challenges.
  • Developed a co-director leadership model that allows for the development of relationships both within the University (academic director) and within the Hamilton community (community director).
  • Established the McMaster Research Shop as an OCE program to provide rapid research to community requests. A total of 44 projects have been completed since the program was transferred to the OCE in 2016.
  • Created a Community-Campus CoLaboratory focused on new partnerships related to digital literacy, mobility, and social entrepreneurship that resulted in $15,000 in project grants and contributed directly to new programs with the Hamilton Public
    Library, City of Hamilton, and YWCA Hamilton.

    • A collective of 12 local women are now selling their products out of a retrofitted shipping container in Barton Village.
    • Two Digital Literacy Summits were hosted at the Hamilton Public Library and engaged over 60 community and campus stakeholders.
    • A by-law was passed for King William to temporarily close to vehicles to support local businesses by offering diners a safe “dine-in” experience.
  • Created the McMaster Access Strategy as a direct result of requests from community partners. The program is being developed to assist academically qualified students from marginalized and underrepresented groups in Hamilton and surrounding communities to access university education at the undergraduate level.
  • Offered 26 Community-Campus Catalyst Grants valued at a total of $30,000 to partnerships between Faculties/ Major Units, students and community partners.
  • Provided over $10,000 in financial sponsorship to over 12 community and campus events such as the LGBTQ+ Solidarity Night, Model City Hall, State of the Neighbourhoods and 100in1 Day Hamilton.
  • Co-developed the CityLAB Hamilton program in collaboration with the City of Hamilton, Mohawk College, and Redeemer University College. The program has involved over 39,000 student hours on city projects to-date.
  • Established close relationships with community partners involved in social justice work and connected McMaster
    faculty, students and staff to respond to identified needs.
  • Developed a cyclical model of feedback through the annual Idea Exchange to understand both opportunities and barriers to community engagement.
  • Presented the outcomes of McMaster community engagement program growth and development at multiple national and international conferences.
  • Participated in the Impact and Strategic Clarity module offered by Innoweave through the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation to clarify our intended impact and to develop a new 5-year strategic plan for 2020-2025.

View Our Past Strategic Plans & Reports