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ERIC Number: ED547717
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 305
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-1883-5
"I Don't Know Where We'd Be without Them": Understanding Community Partners' Motivations to Participate in Academic Outreach
Barrera, Douglas Stuart
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
While the literature on institutional civic engagement is quite extensive, the community perspective on such endeavors remains an under-developed area of study. This is particularly true of academic outreach programs meant to support the college preparation of underrepresented students. The purpose of this study was to explore the motivations of school professionals to participate in outreach programs emanating from the university, and to examine the extent to which higher education personnel work in partnership with their secondary school counterparts to implement the programs. Given the lack of community members' voices in the research on civic engagement, a qualitative approach was chosen in which 21 counselors and teachers were interviewed to gain their perspective on why they choose to participate in one of two different programs emanating from one public research university. Utilizing a grounded theory approach, a modification of resource dependence theory emerged to explain why the school partners participate in outreach. Although the need for tangible support, both financially and labor-wise, is a strong motivation, so too is a belief in a shared responsibility among secondary and postsecondary levels to address the educational achievement gap among underrepresented students. Beyond that, the school partners so value the shared commitment they see in their higher education colleagues that they desire even greater engagement with their local colleges and universities. Thus, the findings point to what is termed as a civic interdependence as the lens by which we can understand the community partners' reasons to participate. In addition, this study highlights that successful academic outreach efforts on the part of the university follow a model for sound community-campus partnerships that previously had been applied to other civic engagement initiatives. Factors such as trust, respect, communication, and shared goals are all factors in the success of the relationships between the constituencies. However, the chief challenge to this success is the reduction in funding to the programs in recent years that have caused a reduction in services. Interdependence has grown greater between the community and university to achieve shared access goals. Implications for policy and institutional practice are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A