What are the Benefits? Why Get Involved?
The one sentence description is that Scholarship of Engagement is students meeting learning objectives through participating and interacting in a real activity, with real people, in the real world, and with real consequences.
[The following is reprinted from “Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place – A Guide for Leading Public Engagement at State Colleges and Universities.” American Association of State Colleges and Universities, 2002 (pg 12).]
Embracing Public Engagement as a Core Value will Yield Benefits to all Concerned.
For faculty, engaging community and regional concerns:
- Provides opportunities to enrich and update curriculum and classroom content;
- Legitimizes and supports the scholarship of engagement, which focuses on the application of knowledge rather than its discovery;
- Adds meaning and measurable content to a faculty members “public service” role;
- Creates interdisciplinary linkages, with the cross-fertilization of ideas, fresh perspectives, intellectual enthusiasm, and interpersonal stimulation;
- Energizes faculty work by raising new questions and topics for research and teaching; and
- Becomes a vehicle for exercising civic responsibility.
For the college or university, engagement:
- Gives substance to the rhetoric of partnership;
- Provides additional means of showing the value of investing public dollars in higher education;
- Positions and presents the institution as a positive and contributing member of the community/region;
- Improves the community/region in which the institution operates and from which the bulk of its student body is drawn;
- Enhances the role of the college or university president as a spokesperson on important issues affecting the community/region; and
- Provides a framework for decisions about the allocation of resources.