Cortes explains that two major university-generated forces can potentially prompt changes in nearby neighborhoods: university-community partnerships and campus economic activities. Rural campuses have different campus-community considerations surrounding infrastructure projects than urban campus, which are housed within a more multifaceted economic ecosystem. University spending, employment, earnings, and student spending have implications for the communities and regions where they are based; these activities often have multiplier effects making quantification challenging. In college towns, student housing tends to be highly concentrated and segregated from the rest of the community. Facing different economic challenges, rural communities are alternative models for campus-led community development. Grounded in the land-grant mission, the Extension model seeks to formalize networks between universities and communities. Historically, many Extension initiatives have focused on agricultural practices and sharing best practices and research with farming communities.
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Medieval universities were structured as urban centers providing technical training in medicine, law, and, most importantly, theology. Colleges and universities are uniquely situated within communities, often influencing many facets of a community’s life, including costs and structure of housing, types of amenities and businesses, and the presence of law enforcement. During the rapid industrialization of Victorian London, urban poverty in the East End became a growing concern. In partnership with Vicar Barnett, Arnold Toynbee conceptualized a model of community engagement whereby students from universities such as Cambridge and Oxford would take up residence in London’s East End to collaborate with residents and address social problems. Understanding the historical rationale for campus-community partnership is critical for determining the future of community engagement. The engaged campus plays an important role in both maintaining and promoting civil society and fostering civic engagement among emerging adults.
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Hosting International Service-Learning Students: Assessing Expectations and Experiences of Supervisors
Historically, service-learning practice and literature have focused more heavily on student experiences rather than those of the community partner. Although research focused on community partners’ experiences has increased, it has generally not taken into account shifting demographics of students in the U.S. higher education system, specifically the rapid internationalization of colleges and universities. Beginning in 1938 with Dewey’s introduction to experiential learning and democratic education, service learning has gained momentum as a pedagogical technique and as a high-impact practice. The number of nonprofit organizations in the U.S. hosting international service-learning students is unknown, but given trends in international exchange programs and the demographic nature of clients served by nonprofit organizations in the U.S., the mutually beneficial possibilities of international service learners in U.S. organizations are vast. Through an analysis of the qualitative data, researchers have identified cultural and linguistic barriers as a consistent theme.
Universities are often both the providers of education and the hubs for the study of education as a profession and the role of schools as institutions within society. This chapter documents the history and development of campus-community partnerships aimed at improving educational opportunities in under-resourced communities. Today’s universities often wrestle with the tensions of contemporary neoliberalization and commodification of education and the democratic missions on which they were originally founded. This is not to say that the successful development of universities as service providers specifically and community partners broadly has occurred (or could do so) evenly across all institutions of higher education. Several scholars have identified challenges or barriers to the successful implementation of universities as service providers. These barriers are directly linked to universities’ abilities to resist market forces and maintain their democratic or civic-engagement missions.
A growing body of research demonstrates that community-engaged learning opportunities involving authentic grant making can deepen students’ understanding of philanthropy’s role in our society and extend its benefits to the community. Authentic grant making has been incorporated into programs targeted at primary and secondary school children as well as undergraduate and graduate students. Colleges and universities have been offering experiential philanthropy (EP) courses since the late 1990s. The Students4Giving program provides a framework for philanthropic education emphasizing community-based knowledge with both grantmaking and fund-raising dimensions. Just as philanthropy permeates many aspects of U.S. society, EP lends itself to a wide range of disciplines. Instructors use experiential philanthropy to accomplish multiple goals. The analysis noted that just over half of all courses included civic engagement goals. A growing body of research on the impact of EP courses has identified a variety of positive student learning outcomes.
Community engagement is a dynamic multi-facilitated, multi-stakeholder endeavor that makes impact measurements allusive. This chapter discusses the role of critical service learning as a backdrop for ethical engagement; and aims to graft existing professional frameworks and theory as tools for guiding and reflecting practice in community engagement with the aim of minimizing ethics violations in the community. Community-engaged learning models, such as service learning, have been shown to impact students in several areas, including self-efficacy, deeper learning of course material, reducing stereotypes, and fostering critical thinking. Students entering resource-poor communities have preconceived notions about why residents currently occupy their socioeconomic status. Ethical community engagement must emphasize the inherent capacity of individuals and communities to understand and respond to social issues. Community engagement presents a difficult duality; many students will participate in it to develop professional skills particularly within education, social work, and health professions.
Different factors influence why and how universities engage in communities and whether this engagement is encouraged by an institution, an instructor, or the independent motivations of individual students. After Hurricane Katrina, community needs were impossible to ignore. The public service emphasis that the university adopted following Hurricane Katrina provided an environment that supported and encouraged these interests in community engagement, leading to increased valuing of such engagement and increases in knowledge seeking and gains in information about the city and about public issues in general. With the shift in expectations regarding service and civic engagement in higher education, the application of mandatory models of volunteerism may diverge from our existing understanding regarding the benefits, limitations, and motivations of student community engagement. Mandatory programs should strike a balance between pushing students out of their comfort zones and burdening organizations with students who could be damaging to their service users and staff.
Since 1993, Jumpstart has been training adults to work with preschool children from low-income communities using a unique focused curriculum. Research has shown that access to high-quality early educational intervention can have a lasting impact on child, adolescent, and adult developmental outcomes. The essential element in Jumpstart’s unique program is a caring, dedicated adult (i.e., college student or older adult) who forms nurturing relationships that encourage children to thrive. Preprofessional training and development may serve as a foundation for future professional pursuits in the education field and aligns with career construction theory. Three measures were used to better understand the impact that Jumpstart has on the professional trajectory: (a) My Vocational Situation (MVS) (b) a mobility index for conducting the document analyses, and (c) a retrospective semi-structured interview protocol. Corps alumni frequently linked their Jumpstart experiences with their feeling of efficacy in the field.
This chapter explores global service learning (GSL), referred to as international service learning (ISL) by some scholars. The global movement of students is not new, nor is the practice of students going abroad strictly an American construct. In 1923, the University of Delaware began what is cited as the first credit-bearing program in the United States. In parallel, GSL programs were being established. One of the first was the Service Civil International (SCI), founded in 1920 by Swiss engineer Pierre Ceresole, in response to World War I. Global community engagement represented larger trends in larger global service, growing service-learning models, and globalization. Globalization not only redefines the meaning of time, space, and cultural assumptions, but also refigures the structure, function, and scope of human society. Students who participate in global engagement identify it as one of the most important aspects of their undergraduate experience.