The Edward Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning

The Ginsberg Center uses the term Community-Engaged Scholarship to emphasize our approach of putting community-defined needs at the center of any community engagement effort including courses, research, and service. 

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For help with your community-engaged scholarship efforts, please complete the Online Request Form or email us at

What is Community-Engaged Scholarship?

Community-Engaged Scholarship is an approach of a course, internship, program or research project that involves hands-on experiences within a community and has several key components:

  • Addresses societal needs not currently being fully met by other sectors; 
  • Reciprocal benefits for community partners, campus partners, and students; 
  • Intentionally integrates community-based needs and academic learning objectives; 
  • Prepares students for engagement, promotes ongoing reflection and/or critical analysis; 
  • Interrogates structures of inequality and questions the distribution of power; 
  • Supports developing a lifelong commitment to civic engagement.

Community partners are active participants in the process of identifying needs and developing appropriate interventions and projects to address these needs. Faculty, staff, and students work in collaboration with community partners to consider the impact on communities before, during and after community engagement.  

Why should you implement community-engaged scholarship?

Community-Engaged Scholarship is a High Impact Practice. Participation in these activities has the greatest impact on success, on retention, on graduation, on transfer, and on other measures of learning (NSSE 2008).

High impact practices induce student behaviors that lead to meaningful learning gains (Kuh 2008):

  • Investing time and effort
  • Interacting with faculty and peers about substantive matters
  • Experiencing diversity
  • Responding to more frequent feedback
  • Reflecting and integrating learning
  • Discovering relevance of learning through real-world applications

Community-Engaged Scholarship engages faculty, staff, students and community partners in broader civic and social engagement efforts, promoting a lifelong commitment to civic engagement.

Further Reading:
Fitzgerald, H. E., Bruns, K., Sonka, S. T., & Furco, A. (2012). The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(3), 7–27.