These DEFINITIONS can be helpful in navigating this page:

  • Community
    A group of people external to the campus who are affiliated by geographic proximity, special interest, similar situation or shared values. Communities may share characteristics such as age, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

  • Partnership
    Sustained collaboration between institutions of higher education and communities for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources. Examples are research, capacity building, or economic development. 

  • Community Engagement
    The collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in the context of partnership and reciprocity. It can involve partnerships and coalitions that help mobilize resources and influence systems and serve as catalysts for initiating and/or changing policies, programs, and practices. 

  • Community-Based Teaching/Learning
    A pedagogical approach that connects students and faculty with activities that address community-identified needs through mutually beneficial partnerships that deepen students' academic and civic learning. Examples are service- learning courses or service-learning clinical pratica.

  • Community-Based Research
    A collaborative process between the researcher and community partner that creates and disseminates knowledge and creative expression with the goal of contributing to the discipline and strengthening the well-being of the community. Community-based research (CBR) identifies the assets of all stakeholders and incorporates them in the design and conduct of the different phases of the research process.

  • Public Service
    The application and provision of institutional resources, knowledge or services that directly benefits the community. Public service may entail the delivery of expertise, resources and services to the community.

  • Public Interest Research
    Any research in any field or discipline using any method that is intentionally framed around the pursuit of individual human flourishing or community well-being.