Whether training students, offering faculty development programs or accomplishing work with our communities, the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning's work is grounded in principles of community-engaged scholarship and teaching, as well as in the community-organizing model.
Community-Engaged Scholarship and Teaching
Community-engaged scholarship and teaching comprise intellectually and methodologically rigorous work that is grounded in the norms of democratic education: inclusiveness; participation; task sharing; reciprocity in public problem solving; and an equality of respect for the knowledge and experience that everyone involved contributes to education and community building.
At their heart, community-engaged scholarship and teaching differ from approaches that emphasize one-way applications of academic expertise to community problems. Instead, community-engaged scholarship and teaching intentionally:
- Emphasize the co-production of knowledge in the context of reciprocal partnerships with local stakeholders.
- Pursue the renewal of democracy and the kind of public action that works to confront public problems and social justice through democratic means.
- Demonstrate strong collaboration with community partners in proposal and project development.
- Forge collaborative enterprises between academic researchers (professors and students) and community members, which validate multiple sources of knowledge. This also promotes using multiple methods of discovery and disseminating gained knowledge.
Community organizing has a rich history in American social movements and is about people working together for systemic social change. Community organizing focuses on developing collective self-interests by working with others and taking action on issues the community cares about through true democracy (in which the power is with the people). Our organizing model is not about the short-term mobilization of protests or rallies. Rather, community organizing is about:
- achieving long-term change through building powerful, public relationships;
- influencing and negotiating with government, corporations and institutions;
- achieving direct representation; and
- holding decision-makers accountable to the people through public actions.
Grounded in community engagement and community organizing principles, CCESL has four initiatives:
These initiatives are interconnected, grounded in a community-organizing approach and formulated with consideration of our campus stakeholders—including students, staff and faculty.
You can view and download CCESL's end-of-year reports: