Dominican University of California Wins Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation

January 12, 2022

Campus Compact recognizes Dominican University of California for implementing institution-wide efforts to address issues of public concern

Campus Compact is pleased to announce that Dominican University of California has been awarded Campus Compact’s Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation. The award recognizes four-year or graduate institutions that have successfully implemented institution-wide efforts to address issues of public concern by aligning teaching, research, practice, and values in service of the common good. Recipients are institutions that have undertaken comprehensive efforts to advance the values articulated in Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Action Statement of Presidents and Chancellors.

Dominican University of California has, over the past decade, taken comprehensive and sustainable action to ensure community engagement is deeply embedded in its curriculum and programs. This is evidenced by a 2017 revision to the curriculum, which centers community engagement. The curriculum revision drew on the Dominican Experience, a signature educational model that includes community engagement as one of its four essential elements, and new institutional learning outcomes that include the Practice of Civic Skills and Social Responsibility. In 2016, the university founded its Center for Community Engagement. The Center’s advisory board then crafted and published a Civic Action Plan that further centered civic and community engagement as an institutional priority that is essential to the Dominican Experience.

“Our university is uniquely positioned as an engine of greater social equity, not only through opening educational opportunities to a student body comprising many from diverse and formerly excluded populations, but also through our capacity to produce research and knowledge in partnership with local communities,” said Dominican University of California President Nicola Pitchford in a letter supporting her institution’s nomination. “Addressing the inequity in our community has meant and continues to mean transformation from the inside out; that is, turning to our pedagogy, our curriculum, our policies, and our practices and making bold, sustainable changes.”

James Madison University is the only other recipient of the Richard Guarsci Award for Institutional Transformation this year.

The Richard Guarsci Award for Institutional Transformation is presented as part of Campus Compact’s Impact Awards, which recognize the outstanding work of individuals and institutions in pursuit of the public purposes of higher education. Read more about the other awards and this year’s recipients at

The recipients of these awards will be recognized in March at Campus Compact’s upcoming Compact22 virtual conference.

For more information contact:
Molly Leiper, Communications Manager, Campus Compact,

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