Volume 6 (2016)

Editorial Content and Table of Contents



University- Community Partnerships in Teacher Preparation:  Changing Attitudes about Students with Disabilities  

Sally Barton-Arwood
Belmont University 

Lauren Lunsford
Belmont University

Shree W. Suddeth
Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Belmont University

The personal perspectives of a teacher can support or hinder successful outcomes for students with disabilities. With the increasing prevalence of diverse and inclusive P-12 classrooms, the attitude of the general education teacher is of great importance. Consequently, it is imperative that teacher preparation programs work with community partners to provide extended experiences for future teachers to facilitate conceptual shifts and improve attitudes about teaching students with disabilities, particularly students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) and intellectual disabilities (ID). This article shares the evolution and outcomes of two unique field experiences designed to provide future general education teachers with opportunities to make personal connections with students with EBD and ID. These ongoing, immersive experiences involve two service-learning partnerships with an exceptional public school and a nonprofit organization. Feedback from teacher candidates, families, and partners indicate positive outcomes. These outcomes include identification of misconceptions and changes in attitudes, along with additional unanticipated results. The stories of these partnerships are offered to encourage university faculty in building community connections to provide extended field experiences for future general education teachers to work with students with disabilities.


Keywords: university-community partnerships, teacher preparation, disabilities, field experiences

Article Pdf

Where You Are From Defines You:  Intersection of Community Engagement, Border Pedagogy, and Higher Education 

Karla Loebick
Michigan State University

J. Estrella Torrez
Michigan State University 

This article highlights pedagogical practices in an intentionally designed course focused on fostering cross-cultural, multi-level interaction between two undergraduate student groups and Latino youth from the local school district. The study describes how students identify culture, perceive the role and influence of culture, and engage with the notion of border crossing. The community-engaged project, titled Nuestros Cuentos, uses storytelling and dialogue as an impetus to connect local elementary students with two distinct groups of college students, a residential college and a college assistance migrant program, to support Latino youth in sharing their perspectives of local Latino history. Analysis of this course and the perspectives of students within the discussed community engagement and academic experience yields insight about pedagogical approaches to designing intentional engagement experiences, as well as the positive outcomes related to culture and the increased awareness of cultural borders and border crossing.


Keywords: community engagement, culture, border pedagogy

Article Pdf

Sewing for a Cause:  Implementing and Evaluating Service-Learning in a Clothing Construction Course

Charles Freeman
Mississippi State University

Caroline Kobia
Mississippi State University 

The purpose of this exploratory investigation is to examine the use of a pedagogical framework to guide the development of a successful service-learning project within a technical program (clothing construction) as determined by increased student engagement and qualitative feedback. This investigation uses student reflection comparisons to assess the rollout of a service-learning theoretical framework, which was set up in two stages over multiple years. Stage One (pilot) investigated student and faculty reflections of community engagement after completing a community service project for an organization, but without direct interpersonal contact or reciprocity (mutual exchange and benefit) of learning. Stage Two (implementation) investigated student and faculty reflections of community engagement after completing the same activity as a service-learning course developed with a community partner, which provided direct interaction and learning reciprocity (mutual exchange and benefit) between students and affected populations. Through the comparison of student reflections from both stages, results indicate both learning and community engagement are present during the initial stage, which had no direct contact with a community partner. However, reflections from the second stage demonstrate a deeper connection and feeling of engagement with the service aspect during the full-immersion service-learning project.


Keywords: service-learning, clothing construction, apparel, engagement

Article Pdf

"Does it Count?" and "Who can Speak?":  An Interdependent Model of Knowledge-Production in Public and Traditional Scholarship 

Laurie Grobman 
Penn State Berks 

This article presents a model of public scholarship in which the knowledge-generation binary in traditional and public scholarship can and does blur, even dissolve, through interdependent partnerships. The author analyzes the overlapping issues of authority and voice between the scholarship of community-engaged research and the discipline of English through an ongoing public scholarship project with a local African American museum to reinsert African American experiences into U.S. history. Because community partners’ voices are critical to this historical work, this eleven-year collaboration illuminates issues of authority and knowledge-making, such as who can speak, for whom, for what purposes, and to what ends, in both the scholarship of identity politics and public scholarship.


Keywords: public scholarship, knowledge-production, academic research, collaboration, faculty reward system, community partners’ voices

Article Pdf

Relationship Depth in Community Food Security:  Lessons from a Case Study of the Campus Kitchens Project

Sarah Himmelheber
Warren Wilson College 

This article presents an instrumental case study of one branch of the nationally networked food recovery and redistribution program, the Campus Kitchens Project (CKP). Inquiry is focused on developing a better understanding of the relationship between this CKP branch and its community partners, as well as recognizing the potential for CKP branches to engender robust relationships between Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) and host communities. By utilizing a community food security (CFS) perspective, implications are drawn as to the potential for CKP to exemplify CFS values. Recommendations are made for the organization’s progressive growth and the potential role for social work education and practice.



food security, community/civic engagement, university-community partnerships

Article Pdf 

Developing Practitioner-Scholars through University-School District Research Partnerships

Nicole Ralston
University of Portland 

Beth Tarasawa
Northwest Evaluation Association

Jacqueline M. Waggoner
University of Portland

Rebecca Smith
University of Portland 

Zulema Naegele
University of Portland 

University-community partnerships have gained popularity in the United States as a means of extending university research resources and collaborative opportunities. However, research-driven partnerships between universities and K-12 school districts that prioritize the research needs of K-12 schools are unique. Recently, education scholars have been exploring partnership models with potentially greater benefits for various school district stakeholders. To date, there is limited research on how these partnerships can be leveraged as a pedagogical approach to effectively support the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) students who are emerging as practitioner-scholars. This qualitative study helps fill that gap by examining the impacts of one newly formed research-practice partnership that utilized a service-learning model. Our findings suggest that conducting authentic K-12 district-driven research projects may be one avenue for providing transformative learning experiences to practitioner-scholars while also meeting the needs of the school district partners in the community through the production of public scholarship.


Keywords: research partnerships, practitioner-scholars, transformative learning

Article Pdf

Engaging Faculty across the Community Engagement Continuum

Irena Gorski 
The Pennsylvania State University 

Khanjan Mehta 
The Pennsylvania State University 

There currently exists an incompatibility between the demands of university administrators for increased community engagement and the realities facing faculty who want to integrate it into their academic coursework, research, and professional service. This article provides insight on the complex challenges preventing faculty from becoming involved in reciprocal community engagement endeavors. It explores four factors to consider when recruiting faculty: where they are on their career track, access to resources, control over their teaching and research activities, and their interest and preparation. This article suggests that rather than viewing community engagement as a binary state where a faculty member is integrally engaged or not, faculty engagement can be viewed along a continuum where they are engaged in a variety of ways with different degrees of engagement and commitment. Finally, this article provides several examples of the multi-tier approach that Penn State has successfully championed to involve more faculty in community-engaged work by understanding their perspectives and meeting them where they are.


Keywords: community engagement, faculty, tenure, institutionalization

Article Pdf 

Photovoice as Methodology, Pedagogy, and Partnership-Building Tool:  A Graduate and Community College Student Collaboration 

Amanda O. Latz
Ball State University

Robin Phelps-Ward
Clemson University

Dan Royer
Ball State University

Tiffany Peters
Ball State University

Participatory action research, photovoice, diversity, and immersive learning comprised the most important aspects of the Community Colleges and Diversity graduate course taught during the 2014 spring semester. This project involved eight graduate students, five community college students, three community college administrators, and one university assistant professor. Through a description of the course-based photovoice project, articulation of the findings, and a discussion about the project’s larger impact as it related to students’ educational experiences and community collaborations, this work provides evidence of the power of photovoice—employed as student-led participatory action research—as a research approach, pedagogical tool, and partnership-building device.


Article Pdf 

Community Engagement in K-12 Tutoring Programs:  A Research-Based Guide for Best Practices 

Jennifer Mozolic
Warren Wilson College

Julia Shuster
Asheville City Schools Foundation

This report on historical trends and recent findings in the literature on academic tutoring is the first step in a community-based research collaboration between faculty and students at a small liberal arts college, the local public school district, and a nonprofit foundation that supports public K-12 education. Each year, this nonprofit administers a program that pairs over 200 public school students with academic tutors while overcoming limited resources for accessing and synthesizing the research on best practices in the field. Our partnership seeks to provide community members and volunteers with foundational knowledge and practical guidelines for promoting student success through tutoring. In subsequent phases of the research we will use these guidelines to implement and evaluate changes in the tutoring program. Here, we present accumulated evidence from researchers across disciplines, synthesizing a set of best practices in tutoring for use by community engagement practitioners. Additionally, we incorporate recent findings suggesting that factors beyond typical academic outcomes, so-called non-cognitive skills like motivation, perseverance, and mindset, could be important components of tutoring for more broadly defined student success.


Keywords: community-based research, tutors, tutoring programs, best practices, mindset, non-cognitive skills

Article Pdf 

Review Essay

Crossing Boundaries:  The Tension and Transformation in International Service-Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing 

Ann Scheunemann
North Carolina State University 

Article Pdf