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Carleton students are busy with more than just school work and fun; they're also very involved in Northfield and its surrounding communities. In fact, Carls collectively log some 4,000 hours in volunteer work each term. And student volunteers often find their experiences in the community provide a much better understanding of the real world than any coursework can give them.

Most of Carleton's volunteer efforts are coordinated through people and resources with the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE).

This includes opportunities through coursework as well as non-class-related volunteer programs. The CCCE includes both ACE and ACT:

Academic and Civic Engagement (ACE) engages students and faculty in course-related community projects. Classes explore topics ranging from health care to social justice to environmental chemical concerns.

Acting in the Community Together (ACT) helps match Carls with volunteer programs, one-time volunteer opportunities, academic civic engagement courses, internships, and many other avenues into the world of social justice and change.

  • Scott Carpenter
    Scott Carpenter (faculty) says:
    I chose Carleton for the thrill of working with exciting colleagues on the most ambitious project of all: training the next generation of leaders in all walks of life. (Goodness knows we're going to need them!)
  • Stacey Pelika '96 says:
    Because of Carleton I know that I'll always be part of a community of people who work to understand and improve the world but don't take themselves too seriously while doing it. ‎(And that Carleton people are so drawn to the same types of communities that you may well find yourself unintentionally - but happily! - living in an apartment building in which four tenants all lived in the same dorm almost 20 years ago!)
  • Volunteering in Iowa
    "This fall before classes started, I volunteered with a group of Carleton students to help clean up after flooding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa." -Liz Evison '10
  • Margi Youmans '06

    Margi Youmans '06 with her high school social studies students at Community of Peace Academy, a charter school in St. Paul, Minnesota.


    John Noltner
  • A photo from the Engineers Without Borders--Carleton College trip to Peru.
    A photo from the Engineers Without Borders--Carleton College trip to Peru.