Community Engagement in Higher Education

Policy Reforms and Practice

  • W. James Jacob
  • Stewart E. Sutin
  • John C. Weidman
  • John L. Yeager

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
    1. W. James Jacob, Stewart E. Sutin, John C. Weidman, John I. Yeager
      Pages 1-28
  2. Thematic Issues Related to Higher Education Community Engagement

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 29-29
    2. Kassie Freeman
      Pages 31-39
    3. Alex Johnson, David Hoovler
      Pages 41-49
    4. Tatyana Dumova
      Pages 73-88
    5. Linda Silka, Mario Teisl, James Settele
      Pages 89-102
  3. Institutional Programs, Partnerships, and Case Studies in the United States

  4. Institutional Programs, Partnerships, and Case Studies in China, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 237-237
    2. Sumin Li, Dongfang Wang
      Pages 239-253
    3. David K. Serem, Augustine M. Kara
      Pages 269-285
    4. Gustavo Gregorutti, Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, Wilma González, Géner Avilés, Herbert Roel Cea
      Pages 287-302
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 317-334

About this book


There seems to be renewed interest in having universities and other higher education institutions engage with their communities at the local, national, and international levels. But what is community engagement? Even if this interest is genuine and widespread, there are many different concepts of community service, outreach, and engagement. The wide range of activity encompassed by community engagement suggests that a precise definition of the “community mission” is difficult and organizing and coordinating such activities is a complex task. This edited volume includes 18 chapters that explore conceptual understandings of community engagement and higher education reforms and initiatives intended to foster it. Contributors provide empirical research findings, including several case study examples that respond to the following higher educaiton community engagement issues. What is “the community” and what does it need and expect from higher education institutions? Is community engagement a mission of all types of higher education institutions or should it be the mission of specific institutions such as regional or metropolitan universities, technical universities, community colleges, or indigenous institutions while other institutions such as major research universities should concentrate on national and global research agendas and on educating internationally-competent researchers and professionals? How can a university be global and at the same time locally relevant? Is it, or should it be, left to the institutions to determine the scope and mode of their community engagement, or is a state mandate preferable and feasible? If community engagement or “community service” are mandatory, what are the consequences of not complying with the mandate? How effective are policy mandates and university engagement for regional and local economic development? What are the principal features and relationships of regionally-engaged universities? Is community engagement to be left to faculty members and students who are particularly socially engaged and locally embedded or is it, or should it be, made mandatory for both faculty and students? How can community engagement be (better) integrated with the (other) two traditional missions of the university—research and teaching? Cover image: The Towering Four-fold Mission of Higher Education, by Natalie Jacob


Community engagement Community outreach Higher education Higher education trends Service learning

Editors and affiliations

  • W. James Jacob
    • 1
  • Stewart E. Sutin
    • 2
  • John C. Weidman
    • 3
  • John L. Yeager
    • 4
  1. 1.University of PittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of PittsburghUSA
  3. 3.University of PittsburghUSA
  4. 4.University of PittsburghUSA

Bibliographic information