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About Us

The Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement at The College of New Jersey is responsible for mobilizing faculty, students and staff to help sustain and advance the communities in which we live. The Institute finds mission-consistent ways to improve the quality of life for all in our surrounding communities.

It cultivates the common ground that exists between the educational mission of the College and the needs of non-profit organizations and neighborhoods; it does so by creating teaching and learning opportunities that simultaneously build the capacity of TCNJ students and these groups and communities.  Students become more knowledgeable, skilled and civic minded while community partners gain additional resources to effectuate positive change.


Major Programs

The Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement is responsible for several programs and initiatives at the College. It’s two major programs are:

Bonner Community Scholar Program

The Bonner Community Scholars is a four-year, community service-based student development program that provides academic scholarship to students who commit to 300 hours of service each year, including site-based service, service trips, and training and enrichment activities. The Bonner Community Scholars Corps is responsible for mobilizing all First Year students at TCNJ to complete their Community Engaged Learning graduation requirement.

First Year Community Engaged Learning Program

The College of New Jersey requires that all students complete a minimum of eight hours of Community Engaged Learning activities as part of its Liberal Learning education. This requirement is generally fulfilled during a student’s first year at TCNJ, and is coordinated by the Bonner Institute of Civic & Community Engagement. The goal of the program is to have students  seek to sustain and advance the communities in which they live by engaging in an informed and academically based service experience.

Mission Driven

All of the Bonner Center’s programs and institutional responsibilities are driven by the mission of the College.

TCNJ Mission Statement

The College of New Jersey, founded in 1855 as the New Jersey State Normal School, is primarily an undergraduate and residential college with targeted graduate programs. TCNJ’s exceptional students, teacher-scholars, staff, alumni, and board members constitute a diverse community of learners, dedicated to free inquiry and open exchange, to excellence in teaching, creativity, scholarship, and citizenship, and to the transformative power of education in a highly competitive institution. The College prepares students to excel in their chosen fields and to create, preserve and transmit knowledge, arts and wisdom. Proud of its public service mandate to educate leaders of New Jersey and the nation, The College will be a national exemplar in the education of those who seek to sustain and advance the communities in which they live.