Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA)

Who We Are

HECUA is a non-profit consortium of over twenty colleges and universities. Founded in 1971, HECUA has 50 year history of providing experiential off-campus programs in collaboration with local communities in the US and abroad. Among HECUA’s founding board members is the late US Senator Paul Wellstone. Visit our Partnerships page to see a full list of consortium members. HECUA is based in St. Paul, MN.

Our Mission

HECUA (Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs) offers off-campus academic programs for students to do integrative intellectual, political, and artistic work in support of movements for social justice, peace, and environmental sustainability in the U.S. and abroad.

Our Vision

Informed by a deep respect for the knowledge of communities most impacted by injustice, HECUA’s programs envision students, teachers, and community members as co-learners and co-creators.

For more about HECUA’s mission and vision, please see our 2018-2021 Strategic Plan

What We Do

HECUA designs credit-earning programs for college undergraduates, employing a philosophy of education that speaks openly of values of justice in our classrooms and communities. During their semester abroad or off-campus here in the United States, HECUA students build the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to be engaged citizens and active changemakers. Students apply what they learn in the classroom to their work in the field, spending up to 200 hours in a supported internship developed by their host organization. HECUA faculty and internship supervisors work as co-teachers, helping students explore the link between theory and practice.

Our Values

Interdisciplinary Learning

Complex issues demand that we draw materials and theories from a variety of sources and disciplines.

Integrated Learning

We constantly make connections between theory and practice. Students and teachers critically assess competing theories, based on experiences in the field and life experiences we bring to class.

Experiential Learning

Internship placements, workshops, field visits, community engagement: these experiences, and the reflections and discussions that accompany them, are integral to HECUA’s approach.

Holistic Learning

HECUA pushes students to view their program as more than an intellectual exercise. HECUA is committed to educating the whole student by fostering emotional intelligence, moral imagination, and compassion.


Back To Top Menu