Community Engagement

Eckerd is many things. It is an intellectual oasis, a retreat from the realities of the real world, a fun and invigorating place. But we also believe deeply in community service.

It has been part of our DNA since our founding in 1958. We want students to cultivate an ethos of service that imbues their lives.

Our students are engaged with the world in ways that change their lives and the lives of others. Every student is required to perform at least 40 hours of service before they graduate. Many go far beyond that.

We also have many partnerships with employers and non-profit groups. In fact, our students fill internship, part-time and full-time positions across Tampa Bay.

Students removing invasive plants at Boyd Hill

At Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, students garden, clear invasive species and train birds for educational purposes. Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Estuary Program/Misty Cladas

Our students are making our community a better place in many way. For instance, at Baypoint Middle School, they work bio-science laboratory initiatives, including hands-on shark dissections on the Eckerd campus.

More examples of community service

  • In partnership with the world-renowned Poynter Institute, students work with Melrose Elementary, John Hopkins Middle and Lakewood High schools to support teachers and administrators prepare young people to be engaged citizens through journalism education.
  • The Eckerd College Educational Alliance is a college-supported club that sends out students into impoverished schools in St. Petersburg to work as mentors and tutors and help teachers in the classroom.
  • They work with the Science Center at Career Source Pinellas to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and workforce development initiatives in Tampa Bay, including job training programs in Cyber Security and Advanced Manufacturing.
  • They garden with the Edible Peace Patch Project, which aims to teach children and the community about cultivating healthy food choices.
Students cleaning waterway with Tampa Bay Estuary Program

They plant sea grasses at Ft. De Soto county park, and assist with a water goat in downtown St. Petersburg through the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Estuary Program/Misty Cladas