Community Engagement Faculty Institute

Taking Education Beyond the Walls of the Classroom

The Center for Social Concerns offers the Community Engagement Faculty Institute (CEFI) for all who want to explore or deepen their knowledge, skills, and passion for community-engaged teaching, learning, and research. This dynamic Community Engagement Faculty Institute is imbued with engaged learning, mixing lectures by faculty and community experts on the theory and practice of community-university partnerships with immersion into the South Bend community to learn with community partners.

How does CEFI connect faculty with partners at the University and the South Bend community? Listen to Grant Mudge, Ryan Producing Artistic Director of the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, describe his experiences.

CEFI 2021: Self-Healing Communities

CEFI 2021 focused our conversations, readings, and site visits on the theme of Self-Healing Communities. We will explored what it means to work towards a trauma-informed approach to academic community engagement. South Bend has a poverty rate of about 24% and a child poverty rate above 30%. Those high rates indicate a high level of stress for adults and children alike. In CEFI, we consider in particular how we can understand and respond to individual and structural causes of trauma in solidarity with the many local organizations that seek to address unjust community environments.

Agenda and Objectives

See the 2021 agenda to get a sense of presentations, activities, and learning objectives. Read testimonials from past participants about the power and inspiration of this unique learning experience. 


CEFI is interdisciplinary and inclusive. All Notre Dame faculty, graduate students, and Community-Engaged Learning Coordinators are welcome to apply. We seek a diverse cohort willing to join their perspective and talents with those of community leaders who work to advance health and healing in all domains of civic life. Participants at all levels of experience with community engagement are welcome. Due to the popularity of the event, registration is generally competitive. Participants selected to attend are therefore asked to reserve the full time of the institute to be an active member of this learning community. We will follow the most current COVID-19 protocols to keep participants, presenters, and community hosts safe.

Participants who would like to be on the program may propose a talk in the application. Lunch will be provided each day.

Registration Fee

No fee for Notre Dame faculty, staff, and graduate students, or local St. Joseph County community partners. 


Application not open now.


If you have questions or want more information, contact Connie Snyder Mick at