Volume 5 (2015)

Editorial Content and Table of Contents



Lessons from the Labor Organizing Community and Health Project: Meeting the Challenges of Student Engagement in Community Based Participatory Research 

Juliann Allison

University of California, Riverside

Tabassum “Ruhi” Khan

University of California, Riverside

Ellen Reese

University of California, Riverside

Becca Spence Dobias

LF Leadership

Jason Struna

University of California, Riverside

Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) provides opportunities for scholars and students to respond directly to community needs; students also practice critical thinking, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills necessary for professional life and engaged citizenship. The challenges of involving undergraduate students in CBPR include the need for on-going training due to student turnover and mismatches among scholars’ research agendas, campus calendars and community action timelines. We assess these challenges in the context of a yearlong CBPR project that examined the social and environmental impacts of warehousing in Inland Southern California. We found that matching new students with experienced team members and collaborative discussions of quarterly reports with our community partners helped to train and integrate students as they joined the project throughout the year. This practice also helped to reduce scheduling conflicts and ensure healthy and productive relationships with our community partners.

Keywords: community based participatory research (CBPR), warehousing, experiential learning, labor organizing, community partnership, environmental activism

Pages 5-30

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One Happy Union: Infusing Community-Based Learning Projects through Online Instruction

Jason W. Lee

University of North Florida

Jennifer Kane

University of North Florida

Terence Cavanaugh

University of North Florida

Both community-based learning (CBL) and online learning are popular pedagogical practices, with distinct benefits and issues for teaching and learning. The integration of these practices may seem challenging, but they can be compatible. This article seeks to provide effective examples and support for conducting CBL projects in online courses while supporting the belief that criteria such as reinforcement, evaluation, feedback, and motivation (Berge, 2010) can be achieved through congruent CBL and online instruction. The theoretical basis for the projects identified in this work adhere to the tenets of quality online design, which are student-centered, and evoking principles of project-based learning (PBL), anchored instruction and situated learning.

Keywords: online learning, project-based learning, innovation, technology, pedagogy, assessment

Pages 31-48

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Exploring the Growth of a College-Community Partnership

Irene Rosenthal

The College of St. Rose

The conditions that supported the development of a highly successful collaborative partnership between a college literacy program and a nonprofit center for refugee children are discussed. This three year partnership produced three inquiry-based projects, grant opportunities and increased collaboration among graduate literacy students, center teachers, and staff in the areas of instruction, assessment and material collection. It is argued that these collaborations are necessary for institutions of higher learning in general and teacher preparation programs in particular.

Keywords: community-university partnerships, graduate internships, reciprocal partnerships, diversity education

Page 49-60

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Impact of Service-Learning Experiences in Culinary Arts and Nutrition Science

Jamie Daugherty

Johnson & Wales University-Denver Campus

A grant from a regional nonprofit organization for the 2012-2013 academic year facilitated the revision of an existing course learning objective in a Culinary Nutrition lab course—performing effective culinary demonstrations—to include a service-learning experience. This course is a graduation requirement in a research- and science-based Culinary Nutrition program at an area university. A service-learning program consists of three groups: faculty facilitating the experience, students enrolled in the class offering a service-learning experience, and a community partner who hosts the experience. Integration of the service-learning component into this lab course allowed university students to apply skills from their academic and culinary classes in a real-world setting by designing culinary and nutrition education demonstrations for students at an area middle school. This article focuses on the impact of student learning evaluated in spring and fall of 2014. The implementation of this service-learning experience created permanent changes in the course’s curriculum, which now serves as a model for other service-learning programming conducted at the university. This article addresses the reflection strategies, the evaluation process and the impact this experience had on student-learning outcomes.

Keywords: service-learning, nutrition science, culinary arts, curriculum design, demonstrations, experiential education

Pages 61-78

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University Service-Learning Partnership with a Foreign Government: A Case Study

James S. Guseh

North Carolina Central University

The purpose of this research is to assess the process of establishing, implementing, and evaluating an international service-learning (ISL) partnership between an American university and a foreign government. The partnership is between North Carolina Central University and the Civil Service Agency of Liberia. In order to facilitate an in-depth examination of the program, a case study methodology was employed. Many Liberian government agencies have benefited from the services that students have provided through ISL. A reflection of this ISL partnership shows that the partnership impacts teaching by providing real-world examples or cases, as well as demonstrating the nexus between theory and practice. The services students provide can also serve as a source of research for faculty and students. The career outlook of student participants is also broadened beyond the national level to international affairs. Moreover, while many ISL programs focus on one broad field of study, such as nursing, the university-government ISL partnership assigns students to different government agencies with different policy foci, such as health policy and government budgeting. As such, students can be placed in diverse agencies which in turn can provide diverse experiences, when shared among themselves, can further broaden their global perspectives and enrich teaching, research, and service at institutions participating in ISL.

Keywords: global, government, international service-learning, Liberia, partnership, reflection

Pages 79-92

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Service-Learning from the Perspective of Community Organizations

Alexis Petri

University of Missouri-Kansas City

As a central construct in the theory of service-learning, reciprocity for community partners is not often the subject of scholarship, especially scholarship that seeks to understand the benefits and opportunity costs of service-learning. This article explores how reciprocity works in higher education service-learning from the perspective of community partners. Through interviews, the study asked 24 community partners of a Midwestern private, not-for-profit university about their perspective of service-learning. The qualitative study used constructivist grounded theory to gain insight into the experiences of community partners.

Keywords: community-campus partnerships, service-learning, reciprocity, community partners, evaluation, community engagement

Page 93-110

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“To See How Far I Can Go”: Benefits of “Fun” in Encouraging Civic Engagement and Building Self-Efficacy among New York Community College Students

Paul D. Naish

Guttman Community College

Community Days, an innovative initiative to foster community service and civic engagement at the City University of New York’s new Guttman Community College, encourages students to perform volunteer work around the city. What makes the program unique are opportunities for students to take self-directed excursions and enjoy free resources in the city—activities not usually associated with service-learning.  Including a component that the students identify as “Fun Day” in a program dedicated to volunteer service strengthens the program and increases the enthusiasm of the participants. This essay examines reflections completed by the students after participating in Community Days, considering their initial expectations and apprehensions, their experiences in unfamiliar environments, and the connections they draw between community service and “fun.” These reflections suggest that the two program components reinforce one another in building social capital. Independently navigating unfamiliar areas of the city challenges them and builds their sense of autonomy and control. Successfully completing new challenges, however simple—whether serving meals in a soup kitchen or riding the Staten Island Ferry—gives them an experience of earned success. Because Guttman allows the students agency to decide how (and ultimately if) they will participate, they take full possession of their accomplishments.      

Keywords: community college, civic engagement, community service, self-efficacy, fun, social capital

Pages 111-125

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Community-University Engagement via a Boundary Object: The Case of Food Mapping in Columbus, Ohio

Jill K. Clark

The Ohio State University

Michelle L. Kaiser

The Ohio State University

Richard Hicks

Columbus Public Health Department

Casey Hoy

The Ohio State University

 Christy Rogers

The Ohio State University

 Colleen K. Spees

The Ohio State University

Interest continues to increase in respect to developing viable public and highly collaborative scholarship. Yet often community and university partners face significant barriers relating to diverse motivations of individual partners and different desired outcomes. The aim of this manuscript is to contribute to the scholarship on community-university engagement by including the concept of a ‘boundary object’ as a vehicle to drive practice. The boundary object is a shared space, or resource, which may be tangible or abstract, and is co-created by the community and university. The object allows various partners to develop a consensus on the object itself while maintaining individual motivations, outputs, audiences and eventual outcomes. Using this concept to address common pitfalls of community-university engagement, we document the case of the Food Mapping Team, a partnership of faculty, research staff, students and community groups in Central Ohio. Through our analysis, we offer tenets to successful use of boundary objects and general recommendations for public scholarship.

Keywords: boundary object, community based research, community-university partnership, case study, food mapping

pages 126-142

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Jigsaw Research Communities: Coordinating Research and Service Across Multiple Courses to Serve a Single Community Partner

Anne Cross

Metropolitan State University, Twin Cities

Deborah Eckberg

Metropolitan State University, Twin Cities

This article describes a public scholarship project in which two faculty members worked together to integrate service-learning and research into multiple courses to benefit a single community partner. The project linked undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in a broad-based research endeavor that contributed to the survival and growth of a nonprofit court monitoring organization and ultimately improved the delivery of justice. The authors provide an overview of the project, treating it as a case study in the development of multi-course mass research projects, drawing inspiration from the jigsaw classroom method. The approach developed uses elements from a number of high-impact educational practices. Guided by faculty expertise and directed by active coordination, students engaged in research and service tasks that had been divided into manageable pieces and distributed across multiple courses to complete an original, collaborative, and groundbreaking piece of public scholarship for the community partner. Simultaneously, students pursued varied learning outcomes related to the project in courses involving criminal justice practice, nonprofit management, diversity awareness, and community involvement.

Keywords: jigsaw research, court monitoring, criminal justice, nonprofit, community, undergraduate research experiences

Pages 143-158

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Review Essays

Review of We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: The Promise of Civic Renewal in America (Levine, 2013)

Herb Brown

North Carolina State University

Pages 159- 164


Review of Diving Deep in Community Engagement: A Model for Professional Development (McReynolds & Shields, 2015)

Tabitha Underwood

Missouri State University

Pages 165-170


Call for Manuscripts

2016 Issue