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ERIC Number: EJ903468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 15
Situating Outreach and Engagement in the University: Concepts, Challenges, and Opportunities
Oaks, Muriel; Franklin, Nancy; Bargerstock, Burton A.
Continuing Higher Education Review, v73 p224-233 Fall 2009
Outreach, engagement, community involvement, student engagement, and economic development--the concept takes many related forms; but they all point to the fact that higher education institutions are responding to society's increasing requirements for accountability. Colleges and universities large and small, public and private have emerged from their ivory towers and are investing their resources and expertise in hands-on involvement to address important societal issues. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, long recognized for its classification systems for higher education institutions, added a voluntary classification category for community engagement in 2005. Since that time, 196 institutions have received this classification. This article describes the experiences of three public land grant universities--Washington State University (WSU), Pennsylvania State University, and Michigan State University (MSU)--and how they dealt with the challenges of increasing outreach and engagement. MSU and Penn State were early to recognize the importance of outreach and engagement to their institutions and to society, and are regarded as pioneers in defining and integrating the concepts. WSU was able to use the earlier works from these and other institutions to re-examine its own efforts and bring the concepts into clearer focus through organizational and definitional structure. All three institutions have been awarded the Carnegie Classification as "community engaged" institutions. The organizational structures that coordinate engagement activities at these institutions have significant variation, but they have one important organizational component in common--a senior administrator with leadership responsibility for this focus.
Descriptors: Land Grant Universities, Outreach Programs, School Community Relationship, Administrative Organization, Extension Education, Continuing Education, Distance Education
University Professional & Continuing Education Association. 1 Dupont Circle NW Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-659-3130; Fax: 202-785-0374; Web site: http://www.upcea.edu
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; Pennsylvania; Washington