Texas Tech University

What is Community Engagement

What is Community Engagement?

Community Engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

(Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2006).

Engagement occurs when a faculty, staff, or student's research, teaching, or service activities significantly engages their scholarly expertise with communities outside of the university with the direct goal of improving outcomes for those who live and work in them.

Engagement between members of Texas Tech University and communities can take many forms ranging from one-directional Outreach to Engaged Scholarship.

How is Engagement different from Outreach?

Outreach typically involves a one-way relationship between members of the university and members of the community - with the university providing educational, consultancy or other services and the community being the recipient.

Engagement, on the other hand, involves mutually beneficial, reciprocal partnerships between members of the university and members of the community. It reflects a two-way relationship that leverages university knowledge and resources with the knowledge and experiences of the community. In an ideal scenario, the process helps create new knowledge that benefits both the university and the community or the general public.

What does it mean to be an Engaged University?

An engaged university is one that produces research of significance that benefits the society and educates students for productive roles in a modern and diverse world by a) maintaining high standards for scholarship and b) partnering with individuals and organizations outside of the academy for the mutual beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources.