Scholarship through service learning tenure and promotion and research issues
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Scholarship through service-learning: tenure and promotion and research issues. Marybeth Lima, Associate Professor Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering. Introduction. How I got my start in service-learning as scholarship By failing! 

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Scholarship through service-learning: tenure and promotion and research issues

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Scholarship through service-learning: tenure and promotion and research issues

Marybeth Lima, Associate Professor

Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering


Introduction

  • How I got my start in service-learning as scholarship

    • By failing! 

  • Questions are welcomed throughout this presentation!


The secret to P&T

  • There are three rules for getting tenure. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.


Overview

  • The rest of my story of service-learning scholarship (“If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning”—Catherine Aird)

  • Developing and executing research projects within a service-learning framework

  • Documenting and disseminating your work for promotion and tenure


Getting started

  • Is there a question(s) about service-learning and/or promotion and tenure that you would like to ask? Write it down.

    • If desired, fold up, put in box, and I’ll answer accordingly.

  • “I am not getting any guidance.”


My story

  • Had SL research important to engineering in general, but not specifically tied to my traditional research duties and job description

  • Strong support from chair level up, no support at the departmental level

  • A&M and AgCenter discussions

  • I received both of my discipline’s top national teaching awards while being unsure of whether I would receive tenure


Dos and don’ts

  • Do

    • Frame your service-learning work in a research context (within the flagship agenda, etc.).

      • What does it mean to be Research I?

    • Disseminate and present your service-learning work in the language of researchers

    • Tie your service-learning research to your job description

  • Don’t

    • Let anyone believe that your work is only “touchy-feely” service (be vigilant about language)

    • Let anyone believe that your work is only innovative teaching


Developing and executing research projects within a service-learning framework

  • Limitations of bean counting: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

  • The current state of affairs: we extol the virtues of bean counting!

    • US News & World Report rankings

      • Peer assessment, student selectivity, faculty resources, graduation/retention rates, financial resources, alumni giving


You must make your service-learning work COUNT (literally and figuratively)

  • What counts in your field as scholarly work?

  • What is your area of scholarly work (think job description)?

  • What counts “up the PT line” as scholarly work?

  • What research-based project can you make “countable” within your scholarly area of work?

    • Community partner input is critical


Example

  • My overall goal is to ensure that every child in Baton Rouge has access to a safe, fun, accessible playground

    • Clear: service component, teaching component, practice component**

    • Traditional research component?

      • From practice and keeping up with playground engineering literature


Research questions

  • Arsenic in pressure treated wood

    • Does the arsenic present in pressure treated wood negatively impact the health of children that play on a playground full of such wood?

  • Sugarcane bagasse as a surfacing material

    • Surfacing is expensive. Any economical material that will meet safety standards for surfacing is needed! Sugarcane bagasse is one-third the cost of mulch. Mulch is widely used as a surfacing material; bagasse is used for some of the same uses that mulch is. Is bagasse an effective playground safety surfacing material?

  • EPA funding!


Another example

  • University of South Florida collaborative for children, families, and communities

    • http://www.usfcollab.usf.edu/

    • Research collaborative in which faculty meet with community partners with no set agenda to explore the research needs of the community

    • Results in community-based action research that is easily funded

    • Results in fairly traditional research for faculty


Developing and executing research projects within a service-learning framework

  • Write research questions specifically tied to your field

    • If possible or desirable, tie in with the practice aspects of your field

    • You should effectively communicate your scholarly service-learning activities to your colleagues, chair, PT committee members, and external reviewers!


Developing and executing research projects within a service-learning framework

  • Along the way

    • Do some information gathering

      • Become familiar with SL literature in your discipline (and in general)

        • find gaps in the literature that correspond to the type of work you want to do

      • Plan your project with publication in mind (goals, measurable objectives, assessment, evaluation)

      • Remember confidentiality, liability, and rights of human subjects

      • You do not have to do this alone! Collaborate with like-minded people that have research expertise that complement your expertise!


Activity

  • Can you articulate a research question(s) based on service-learning work that you are doing (or thinking about doing)?


Documenting and disseminating your work for promotion and tenure: the four Ps

  • Publish

    • Refereed journals, chapters, monograph, book, etc. Publish in your discipline’s journals if at all possible!

  • Procure grant funding if necessary

    • Internal (CCELL, travel grants, seed grants, tech fee)

    • LSU Foundation (work through your college rep first)

    • OSP Public Service Grants (directly in response to Katrina)

  • Present your work at regional and national conferences

    • International service-learning research conference, http://www.upa.pdx.edu/SLResearch06, etc.

  • Promote your work

    • CCELL, departmental newsletters, University Relations, EBR schools publicity office

    • Media training:

      • Never talk to a reporter without thinking about it first

      • Three talking points!

      • Use as a force for good


  • Two other items

    • 1. National review board for the scholarship of engagement (Driscoll and Sandmann)

      • http://www.scholarshipofengagement.org

      • “Created to review and evaluate the scholarship of engagement of faculty who are preparing for annual review, promotion and tenure.”

      • Provides evaluation criteria

      • Evaluates portfolios

      • Resources, readings, FAQs


    Choosing external reviewers for P&T

    • External letters are a critically important piece of the P&T process

    • Cultivate these relationships early in your career (sometimes people will offer)

    • Try to pick people who practice and/or support SL that people in your discipline will recognize

    • Remember that the only people in the entire process who know the stature of external reviewers are people in your department!


    Summary

    • Assistant professors can and should do service-learning if they want to

    • Frame your service-learning work in a research context

    • Articulate research questions and use the resources available to you on campus to refine the questions and properly execute the research

    • Have several research-based talking points regarding your SL project and share them with everyone regularly


    References and useful websites

    • Driscoll, A. and E. Lynton. 1999. Making Outreach Visible: A Guide to Documenting Professional Service and Outreach. Washington, DC: AAHE.

    • Lynton, E. 1995. Making the case for professional service. Washington, DC: AAHE.

    • Lynton, E. and S. Elman. 1987. New Priorities for the University. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

    • http://www.servicelearning.org

    • http://www.compact.org/resource/documenting.html

    • http://www.scholarshipofengagement.org


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