UNC Summit on Engagement June 28, 2011
The New Normal • Higher education takes on the herculean (and potentially transformative) tasks of drastically increasing attainment rates, especially for students from traditionally underserved groups; rethinking core practices to increase productivity and redefine what counts as scholarship; strengthening the nation’s democracy by linking learning and service; embracing a global outlook even more deeply than in the past; and leveraging cutting-edge technology.” ACE report on Presidential Leadership in an Age of Transition (2010)
The Chronicle of Higher Education June 26, 2011 Land-Grant Universities Seek Ways of Reinforcing the Service Component of Their Mission
"Times spent on engagement is as important, or more important, than ever," said M. Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. But, he said, such work will have to be "more defined, costed, and defended."
“A new outreach mission should be more strategic and more collaborative and should better integrate service across the university and with other prime institutional purposes, teaching and research. Mr. McPheron, of Penn State, proposes a new metaphor, a ladder, with education and research as the main supports and engagement work as the connecting rungs. Another speaker, Hiram E. Fitzgerald, associate provost for university outreach and engagement at Michigan State University, agreed. What is needed, he said, is "engaged scholarship" that cuts across different missions of university. "It's a mode of teaching, method of research, a form of service," he said. That could mean some substantial culture shifts within the university …”
Sustaining Community Engagement • Community engagement will increasingly need to be tied to core institutional priorities • Community engagement will increasingly have to be part of the academic culture of colleges and universities • Community engagement will increasingly have to be a catalyst for transforming higher education to meet a range of challenges
Carnegie Elective Classification – Community Engagement Central definition “Community Engagement describes the collaboration between higher education institutions 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.”
Partnerships and Reciprocity • Engagement “requires going beyond the expert model that often gets in the way of constructive university-community collaboration…calls on faculty to move beyond ‘outreach,’…asks scholars to go beyond ‘service,’ with its overtones of noblesse oblige. What it emphasizes is genuine collaboration: that the learning and teaching be multidirectional and the expertise shared. It represents a basic reconceptualization of…community-based work.” O’Meara and Rice, Faculty Priorities Reconsidered (2005).
Reciprocity As a core principle – there is a flow of knowledge, information and benefits in both directions between the University and community partners. Reciprocity is what defines and distinguishes engagement: reciprocity = engagement
Creating a Counterbalance The first elective category to be developed was, significantly, community outreach and engagement. If the effect of Carnegie’s efforts (and those of Dupont Circle and AAUP) in the first three quarters of the 20th century was to inscribe in academic structures and in the consciousness of faculty a national [and cosmopolitan] orientation, those organizations are increasingly emphasizing the value of the local. (p.12) Rhoades, G. (2009) Carnegie, Dupont Circle and the AAUP: (Re)Shaping a cosmopolitan, locally engaged professoriate, Change, January-February, p. 8-13.
Classified Campuses 2006, 2008, & 2010 311 of 389 applicant institutions were classified 173 public/138 private institutions • 111 research universities • 103 master’s colleges and universities • 59 baccalaureate colleges • 20 community colleges • 8 specialized focus (arts, medicine, technology)
2010 Classification • 305 campuses expressed an intent to apply and received the application • 154 campuses submitted an application (151 campuses withdrew) • 115 received the classification (38% success rate)
UNC campuses • Appalachian State University (2008) • East Carolina University (2008) • Elizabeth City State University (2010) • North Carolina Central University (2008) • NC State University (2006) • UNC - Chapel Hill (2006) • UNC Charlotte (2008) • UNC Greensboro (2008) • UNC Pembroke (2008) O&P only • UNC Wilmington (2008) • Western Carolina University(2008)
Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification A benchmarking tool: • mainly descriptive • self-reported data/information • institutions evaluate various aspects of their processes in relationship to standards of best practice (Documentation Framework) • not a ranking tool – no hierarchy or levels of classification
Institutional Motivation • Institutional self-assessment and self-study: A way to bring the disparate parts of the campus together in a way that advances a unified agenda. At the same time it allows for the identification of promising practices that can be shared across the institution. • Legitimacy: Seeking a new level of legitimacy and public recognition and visibility for your work. • Accountability: A way to demonstrate that the institution is fulfilling its mission to serve the public good. • Catalyst for Change: A tool for fostering institutional alignment for community-based teaching, learning and scholarship. • Institutional Identity : The classification is a way to clarify institutional identity and mission that distinguishes the institution from peers.
The Classification suggests 2 Propositions • Engagement is achieved through institutional transformation • Multiple pathways to engagement are reflected in institutional engagement
Proposition 1: Engagement is achieved through institutional transformation
A Model of Institutional Change Eckel, P., Hill, B., and Green, M., 1998. On Change: En Route to Transformation, An Occasional Paper Series of the ACE Project on Leadership and Institutional Transformation, American Council for Education.
Transformational Change • alters the culture of the institution by changing select underlying assumptions and institutional behaviors, processes, and products; • is deep and pervasive, affecting the whole institution; • is intentional; and • occurs over time.
Figure 1 Transformational Change Depth Pervasiveness Adapted from Eckel, Hill & Green (1998)
Focus of the Model:Transformational Change “Transformation requires major shifts in an institution’s culture—the common set of beliefs and values that creates a shared interpretation and understanding of events and actions. Institution-wide patterns of perceiving, thinking, and feeling; shared understandings; collective assumptions; and common interpretive frameworks are the ingredients of this “invisible glue” called institutional culture.” Eckel, Hill, and Green, On Change: En Route to Transformation, 1998.
Where Might Transformation Occur? Connecting institutions to their communities • …institutions form intentional linkages with their communities…these connections can contribute to the reshaping of institutional practices and purposes…, they may cause researchers to rethink the types of grants they seek, the ways they disseminate their findings, and the range and types of audiences for their findings. …Faculty may incorporate service and outreach in their classes and curricula, and students may participate in co-curricular activities (such as internships or service learning) that place them in the community where they can apply their learning to solving real-world problems.
Quadrant four represents deep and pervasive change that transforms the institutional culture. Eckel, Hill, and Green call this change in “the innermost core of a culture…our underlying assumptions; these deeply ingrained beliefs” that “are rarely questioned and are usually taken for granted.” Transformational change, they write, “involves altering the underlying assumptions so that they are congruent with the desired changes”.
A proposition that emerges from this conceptual framework, and from the literature on both community engagement in higher education and institutional change, is that campuses that received the Elective Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement provided sufficient evidence to be located in or to be moving toward the fourth quadrant, demonstrating transformational change reflected in an institutional culture that values community engagement.
Engaged Scholarship: A Guide for Organizational and Social Researchby Andrew H. Van de Ven, (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007) • Engaged scholarship is defined as a participative form of research for obtaining the different perspectives of key stakeholders (researchers, users, clients, sponsors, and practitioners) in studying complex problems. By involving others and leveraging their different kinds of knowledge, engaged scholarship can produce knowledge that is more penetrating and insightful than when scholars or practitioners work on the problems alone.
Proposition 2:Multiple pathways to engagement are reflected in institutional engagement
Engagement as a “core value” for the university of the 21st century Engagement implies strenuous, thoughtful, argumentative interaction with the non-university world in at least four spheres: • setting universities’ aims, purposes, and priorities; • relating teaching and learning to the wider world; • the back-and-forth dialogue between researchers and practitioners; • and taking on wider responsibilities as neighbours and citizens. Association of Commonwealth Universities
The New Production of Knowledge (the epistemological pathway) • “…the pursuit of knowledge itself demands engagement. Increasingly, academics in many disciplines are realizing that their own intellectual territory overlaps with that of other knowledge professionals working outside the university sector…Knowledge is being keenly pursued in the context of its application and in a dialogue of practice with theory through a network of policy-advisors, companies, consultants, think-tanks and knowledge brokers as well as academics.” Association of Commonwealth Universities
Selfishly, I think Penn students have so much to learn from engagement…they have a lot to learn about the process of the creation of knowledge in a democratic society…Universities engage multiple partners in the production of knowledge, and we cannot erect barriers between universities and communities in that process. We are, in short, all in this together.” Rebecca Bushnell, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences
Community Engagement Classification Application • Foundational Indicators • Institutional Commitment • Institutional Identity and Culture • Curricular Engagement • Outreach and Partnerships
Foundational Indicators • Does the institution indicate that community engagement is a priority in its mission statement (or vision)? • Is community engagement defined and planned for in the strategic plans of the institution? • Does the institution provide professional development support for faculty and/or staff who engage with community? • Does the institution have search/recruitment policies that encourage the hiring of faculty with expertise and commitment to community engagement? • Do the institutional policies and for promotion and tenure reward the scholarship of community engagement?
Questions on Faculty Roles and Rewards • Question: “Do the institutional policies for promotion and tenure reward the scholarship of community engagement?” • Sub-Question A: “If yes, how does the institution categorize the community engagement scholarship? (Service, Scholarship of Application, other)” • Sub-Question B: “If no, is there work in progress to revise the promotion and tenure guidelines to reward the scholarship of community engagement?”
Curricular Engagement • Curricular Engagement describes teaching, learning, and scholarship which engage faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address community identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, enhance the well-being of the community, and enrich the scholarship of the institution.
a. Does the institution have a definition and a process for identifying service learning (community-based learning) courses? b. How many formal, for credit courses (Service Learning, Community Based Learning, etc.) were offered in the most recent academic year? What percentage of total courses? c. How many departments are represented by those courses? What percentage of total departments? d. How many faculty taught Service Learning or Community Based Learning courses in the most recent academic year? What percentage of total faculty? e. How many students participated in Service Learning or Community Based Learning courses in the most recent academic year? What percent of total number of students?
Curricular structures and pathways • community engagement in general education. • community engagement in Freshman Seminars. • community engagement in Senior Year or Capstone courses. • community engagement as a focus of the major – departmental strategies • community engagement at the core of interdisciplinary majors and minors. • community engagement integrated into internships and study abroad. • community engagement in graduate studies
Outreach and Partnerships Outreach and Partnership describe two different but related approaches to community engagement. The first focuses on the application and provision of institutional resources for community use benefiting both campus and community. The latter focuses on collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, discovery, and application of knowledge, information, and resources (e.g.. research, economic development, capacity building, etc.) and related scholarship.
Assessing Community “Impact” I. Foundational Indicators A. Institutional Identity and Culture 3.a. Does the institution have mechanisms for systematic assessment of community perceptions of the institution’s engagement with community?
Assessing Community “Impact” (cont.) B. Institutional Commitment 3.a. Does the institution maintain systematic campus-wide tracking or documentation mechanisms to record and/or track engagement with the community? 3.c. Are there systematic campus-wide assessment mechanisms to measure the impact of institutional engagement? d. If yes, indicate the focus of those mechanisms: Impact on students Impact on faculty Impact on community Impact on Institution 6. Does the community have a “voice” or role for input into institutional or departmental planning for community engagement?
Assessing Community “Impact” (cont.) II. Categories of Community Engagement B. Outreach and Partnerships 4.a. Does the institution or do the departments work to promote the mutuality and reciprocity of the partnerships? b. Are there mechanisms to systematically provide feedback and assessment to community partners and to the institution?
Areas of Challenge • Assessing the community’s perspective on engagement • Assessing impact of institutional engagement on faculty, community, and institution • Developing substantive roles for the community in creating the institution’s plans for engagement • Demonstrating how institutions had achieved genuine reciprocity • Specifying student learning outcomes resulting from community engagement • Lack of significant support for faculty • Changes in the recognition and reward system for promotion and tenure • Counting engagement as service (not teaching or scholarship)
During the 2010 selection process, even among the most effective applications, there were categories of practice in need of continued development. Those areas include: (1) assessment, (2) reciprocal partnerships, (3) faculty rewards, and (4) integration and alignment with other institutional initiatives:
The assessment practices required by the Community Engagement Classification must meet a broad range of purposes: assessing community perceptions of institutional engagement; tracking and recording of institution-wide engagement data; assessment of the impact of community engagement on students, faculty, community, and institution; identification and assessment of student learning outcomes in curricular engagement; and ongoing feedback mechanisms for partnerships. That range of purposes calls for sophisticated understandings and approaches to achieve the respective assessment goals. We urge institutions to continue to develop assessment toward those ends.
Partnerships require a high level of understanding and intentional practices specifically directed to reciprocity and mutuality. In the 2010 applications, we noted that institutions have begun to attend to processes of initiating and nurturing collaborative, two-way partnerships, and are developing strategies for systematic communication. Maintaining authentically collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships takes ongoing commitment, and we urge institutions to continue their attention to this critical aspect of community engagement.
With regard to faculty rewards for roles in community engagement and community-based achievements, we see little change in institutional practices related to the scholarship of engagement. This year’s applications reveal two common approaches to conceptualizing community engagement for promotion and tenure. The first is to place the engagement achievements in the categories of teaching or research and to require traditional forms of scholarship (articles, presentations, and grants). The second is to consider community engagement in a broad category of service along with campus-based and discipline-based professional service, and community service that ranges from volunteerism to consultation; this second approach may or may not carry expectations of a scholarly approach. We urge Community Engagement institutions to initiate study, dialogue, and reflection to promote and reward the scholarship of engagement more fully.
Community engagement offers often-untapped possibilities for alignment with other campus priorities and initiatives to achieve greater impact—for example, first-year programs that include community engagement; learning communities in which community engagement is integrated into the design; or diversity initiatives that explicitly link active and collaborative community-based teaching and learning with the academic success of underrepresented students. There remain significant opportunities for campuses to develop collaborative internal practices that integrate disparate initiatives into more coherent community engagement efforts.