About Us » Mission & History


The Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence (CASLE) began in January 2013 as a joint venture between the Office of the Provost and MSU Extension. In July 2016, the Division of Student Affairs joined the partnership and CASLE moved to the Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement and became the Center for Community-Engaged Learning (CCEL). CCEL staff work with faculty, students, and members of MSU Extension including area agents, county coordinators, department heads, faculty, research and center heads, regional coordinators, specialists, as well as community partners throughout the state of Mississippi, the nation, and the world and are committed to the MSU tradition of instilling the ideals of citizenship and service.

Community Engagement Classification

In 2010, Mississippi State University was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its institutional commitment to community engagement through teaching, research, and public service with the Community Engagement Classification. Mississippi State University is one of 115 colleges and universities to achieve this elective classification in 2010 and joins the ranks of only 311 institutions nationally.

The Carnegie Foundation noted that successful applicants “documented excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.” However “during the selection process, we [the Carnegie Foundation] noted that even among the most effective applications, there are categories of practice in need of continued development. Those areas include: (1) assessment, (2) reciprocal partnerships, (3) faculty rewards, and (4) integration and alignment with other institutional initiatives.”

Mississippi State University’s Community Engagement Committee began to address these areas in 2011, and continues to evaluate MSU’s institutional goals and strategic plan in these areas as well. Mississippi State University will submit for the classification again in 2020.

Mission Statement

To support the Mississippi State University mission of research, learning, and service by providing training to the university-wide community in community-engaged learning design, creating intentional opportunities for the advancement, production, and publication of research and coursework focused on the scholarship of engagement, obtaining and providing support for the adoption of community-engaged learning methodologies, highlighting university engagement efforts through assessment, evaluation, publication, and presentation, and becoming a local, regional, and nationally-recognized leader in community-engaged learning and community engagement efforts.


To advance and support all faculty, staff, students, and extension agents, in making connections between and finding the value in the creation of engaged scholarship that connects research, service, and learning in the community, state, region, nation, and beyond.