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Already involved in community engagement? We want to hear about it! Tell us your story, send an email to BlueHensEngage@udel.edu.
Check out the latest news on the Community Engagement Initiative Blog.
Faculty at the University of Delaware collaborate with the community to produce scholarly teaching, research, and service products.
According to researchers Kelly Ward and Tami Moore of Washington State University, faculty benefit in very specific ways. These include reclaiming the role of the educator, pursuing passion, and working on the margins of their disciplines.
Select a theme below to learn more.
Community engagement describes the collaboration between higher education institutions and the larger communities (local, regional/state, national and global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
This definition evolved from the initial work of Ernest Boyer. Boyer (1991) prompted the academy to recognize and reward various forms of scholarship, including the Scholarship of Teaching, the Scholarship of integration, the Scholarship of Application and the Scholarship of Discovery. Later, he expanded the Scholarship of Application to become the Scholarship of Engagement. Boyer, Ernest. (1996). The Scholarship of Engagement. Journal of Public Outreach. 1(1): 11-20.
In January 2015, the University of Delaware was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for excellence in community engagement efforts put forth by the students, faculty, and staff at the university. Since then, we have been working to raise the standard for community engagement at UD, and in the communities.
Read the Carnegie Task Force Recommendations as of May 2014. If you are interested in incorporating community engagement in your work at UD, the following list includes examples of scholarship of engagement:
We can assist in:
For more information on service-learning courses, contact Susan Serra, Assistant Director of the Office of Service Learning at (302) 831-3188 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning and the Office of Service Learning have funds available for individuals or teams of faculty to support the development of service-learning courses and community-based research projects.
Grants are available on a rolling basis to support costs associated with involving students in the community as part of a service-learning course and for the development of community-based research courses and/or projects. Download Community Engagement Proposal Form.
Community-Based Research/Creative Scholarship questions are derived from the intersection of faculty research and the needs of a community. The answers to the questions provide a valuable service to the community partner, while creating an important focus for faculty and student researchers. The process is collaborative and dynamic, as it combines classroom learning with social action.
Ultimately, the community is empowered to address needed changes, and the students and their faculty mentors gain knowledge and skills that may lead to a lifelong commitment to civic engagement. Hills and Mullett (2000) stated, “Community-based research therefore is collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic and transformative.”
PAR strategies involve the participants as co-researchers. Unlike the top-down—researcher as one with the knowledge—in this method, the participant is seen as a contributor to the research process.
Photovoice and Participatory Photo Mapping (PPM) are additional forms of PAR.
PAR is collaborative, critical, participatory, and developmental. It focuses on enabling key stakeholders to address problems they see as important. It is concerned with research alongside stakeholders rather than doing research about them. It is concerned with achieving ongoing improvements rather than once-off solutions. It links theory and practice and calls for rigorous critical thinking on the part of all involved. PAR aims for ownership of the whole development process by agency stakeholders. It argues that each specific change should be determined by those who will be affected by it.
Photovoice is a participatory action research methodology that facilitates participant empowerment by creating and combining photography with grassroots social action. Participants are asked to represent their community point of view by taking photographs, discussing them together, developing narratives to go with their photos, and conducting outreach or other action. This research methodology was developed by Caroline C. Wang of the University of Michigan and Mary Ann Burris of the Ford Foundation in 1992.
Participatory Photo Mapping (PPM)
PPM is a transdisciplinary community-based research methodology that integrates digital tools, narrative interviewing, and participatory protocols for knowledge production (Dennis, Gaulocher, Carpiano, & Brown, 2009). In this method, community members are provided with digital camera and GIS Units. They take pictures of some aspect of their community where change is needed. Next, the photos become the object of interviews that are attached to particular images. The third step entails a mapping of the images with the GIS data. Finally, action items are developed by the participants and presented to policy makers (Dennis et al. p. 468). In sum, this is a method that can engage people in research about their lived experiences. Both qualitative and quantitative data emanates from this methodology.
Example of Participatory Photomapping
Community dance programs provide a venue for participatory photomapping community based research methodology.
Research Question: If free dance classes are offered as a part of a recreation program in a low-income section of the city, will more middle school girls become involved in and appreciate the benefits of physical activity?
Girls, who self-identify as low physical activity, are given the opportunity to take dance classes and research their lived experiences. With partners, the girls take pictures of their typical day prior to participating in the dance classes. Next, their partners photograph them participating in dance classes. Photos of before and after are used as interview prompts for a discussion about the importance of dance and physical activity. Finally, the girls are requested to write letters to the principals of their schools and the local recreation center director, requesting more opportunities to have dance classes.
In essence, the girls select photos they believe best represent their lives. They contextualize the photos by telling the story of the photos. They identify what they consider to be the themes that emerge from the photos. (Overby, L., In Press)
Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life Tenure Team Initiative on Public Scholarship. The Tenure Team Initiative (TTI) (.pdf), one of the consortium’s most important initiatives to date, seeks to articulate and support the adventurous work of publicly engaged scholars and artists.
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health’s Community-Engaged Scholarship Toolkit is intended as a resource for community-engaged faculty on how to “make their best case” for promotion and tenure. More than a dozen recently promoted and/or tenured faculty members have graciously donated excerpts from their portfolios for posting on the toolkit.
The Community-Engaged Scholarship Review, Promotion & Tenure (RPT) Package is designed to help RPT committees understand community-engaged scholarship and how to assess its quality and impact.
Seifer, S.D., Blanchard, L.W., Jordan, C., Gelmon, S., & McGinley, P. (2012). Faculty for the engaged campus: Advancing community engaged careers in the academy. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(1), 5-19. Read article.
Fitzgerald, H., Barack, C. and Seiner, S. (2011). Handbook of engaged scholarship, Volume 1: Institutional change; Volume 2: Community-campus partnerships. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.
Franz, N.K. (2011). Tips for constructing a promotion and tenure dossier that documents engaged scholarship endeavors. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 15(3), 15-29. Read article.
Vogelgesang, L.J., Denson, N. and Jayakumar, U.M. (2010). What determines faculty-engaged scholarship? The Review of Higher Education, 33(4), 437-472.
Foster, K.M. (2010). Taking a stand: Community-engaged scholarship on the tenure track. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 3(2), 20-30. Read article.
Glass, C., Doberneck, D., & Schweitzer, J. (2008). Outreach and engagement in promotion and tenure, National Center for the Study of University Engagement, Michigan State University poster, , and the research process is explained in a PowerPoint presentation. Read article.
O’Meara, K.A. (2001). Working Paper No. 25 Scholarship unbound: Assessing service as scholarship in promotion and tenure, New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE). Read article.
Outreach and partnership activities involving UD faculty have yielded scholarship in multiple disciplines, as reflected in the examples below. An asterisk (*) identifies graduate students involved in the research:
New Connections: Creating Interdisciplinary Knowledge through Community Engagement
The Office of Service Learning offers two sources of direct funding for faculty:
Applications are read on a rolling decision basis. Generally, faculty are eligible for one grant per year.
In addition, faculty interested in working with individual students on a service-learning, community-based research, or community-based creative activity may be interested in the following programs:
Projects must be conducted under the close supervision of faculty whose own work is connected to the project. During the academic year grants are available up to $500 (a minimum of 50 hours). During the summer, grants of up to $3000 (a minimum of 300 hours during the summer).