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ERIC Number: EJ1098837
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1047-8485
The University Next Door: Developing a Centralized Unit That Strategically Cultivates Community Engagement at an Urban University
Holton, Valerie L.; Early, Jennifer L.; Resler, Meghan; Trussell, Audrey; Howard, Catherine
Metropolitan Universities, v27 n1 p97-121 2016
Using Kotter's model of change as a framework, this case study will describe the structure and efforts of a centralized unit within an urban, research university to deepen and extend the institutionalization of community engagement. The change model will be described along with details about the implemented strategies and practices that fall within each of the eight steps. The paper concludes with reflections and future efforts. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is physically, socially and economically intertwined with the City of Richmond. From the university's inception, community engagement has been an integral part of VCU's values and mission (VCU, 2014). In the process of creating VCU as a public institution of higher education for the city of Richmond, the Wayne Commission (1967) established that VCU would be "an urban-oriented university . . . unique in that its basic philosophy concentrates on meeting the needs of an urban population living and working in an urban environment (p. 12)." It is in this context that VCU has come to develop and refine its relationship with the region. Since its founding in 1968, VCU has worked to live up to its calling as a public urban university. An early focus on professional programs in social science and health fields were VCU's entrée into bridging the educational goals of the university and the societal needs of its urban community. Overtime, the vision for VCU expanded as an institution that not only serves urban community members directly but also fosters partnerships across governmental and educational boundaries that provide the highest quality of service to its students and to the wider Richmond region. [For more information on the history of the university and its commitment to engagement, see Bonis, Koste, Lyons and Curtis (2006); Howard and Allison (2004); and Trani and Holsworth (2010).] As a result, numerous organizational changes and initiatives have been undertaken that reflect VCU's commitment to institutionalizing community engagement as a means to educating the citizenry and generating new knowledge while also having a positive impact on its communities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A