Skip to content

Main Navigation

Community Engagement Definitions

Community Engagement

The collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

Community Engaged Scholarship

Investigation, analysis, and the transformation and dissemination of knowledge based on community-informed, reciprocal partnerships involving the university and community members.

Community Based Research

A “collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings.

Community Based Teaching and Learning

Takes place within the community and is designed to affect the community directly. The participants are community members and not necessarily traditional students. It can be reciprocal but that is not its primary purpose, community impact is the primary objective.

Community Engaged Learning

Courses must address best practices in community engagement: the partnership has to be reciprocal; the service has to address an area need in the community, it must be curricular based; the syllabus must address specific learning outcomes related to engagement, and it must include a reflection component.

Faculty Service

Service done by faculty directly for the community (not service to the university, a discipline, a profession, or a particular religious denomination). Service must be voluntary and participants must receive no or minimal remuneration.

Student Service

Must be co-curricular and voluntary. Students cannot receive monetary compensation or course credit, and service efforts must be tied directly to the community (not the community of students at the university or to a particular religious denomination.)

Staff Service

Service done by university staff directly for the community on behalf of the university (not service to the university, a discipline, a profession, or a particular religious denomination). Service must be voluntary and participants must receive no or minimal remuneration.

Outreach

University resources are used to benefit the community. While outreach often increases awareness and accessibility for the university, these outcomes are incidental and the primary focus remains benefiting the community. Although the university contributes to public life in the surrounding community (the arts, athletics, etc.), this particular type of outreach focuses on bringing educational and service-oriented resources into the community.

Last Updated: 1/12/24