Community Engaged Scholarship (CES)

What is Community Engaged Scholarship (CES)?

  • In 1990 Ernest Boyer began a national dialogue on scholarship in higher education in the following publication: Scholarship Reconsidered. He proposed 4 types scholarship, including discovery, integration, application, and teaching. After the Report of the Kellogg Commission's on the Future of State and Land Grant Universities (2000), the concept of engagement rather than traditional service was introduced (Blanchard et al., 2009).
  • Community-engaged scholarship is faculty work done in the community which ranges from discovery, to integration of discovery with application, to work that is primarily the application of faculty expertise (Calleson, Jordan, & Seifer, 2005). It is faculty work done in the community that is innovative, has potential for replication in other communities, has outcomes that can be documented, and findings that can be published in peer-reviewed journals (Calleson, Jordan, & Seifer, 2005). According to Ernest Boyer (1990), “The scholarship of engagement means connecting the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic and ethical problems, to our children, to our schools, to our teachers and to our cities.”

In what areas can faculty apply Community-Engaged Scholarship?

  • Teaching (e.g., service learning)
  • Research (e.g., community-based participatory research)
  • Community-responsive clinical and population care (e.g., community oriented primary care, academic public health practice)
  • Service (e.g., community service, outreach, advocacy)

What competencies and skills are essential for faculty choosing to pursue Community-Engaged Scholarship?

In 2004 the Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborative was launched by CCPH using a U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant (Jameson, Jaeger, Clayton, & Bringle, 2012). The following general and specific competencies were identified as essential for successful CES:

                 o Knowledge (e.g., definitions of CES).

                 o Skills (e.g., ability to evaluate CES products).

                 o Values (e.g., respect for significance of CES).

                 o Understanding concepts of community engagement and community-engaged scholarship.

                 o Familiarity with basic literature and history of community-engaged scholarship.

                 o Ability to work effectively in and with diverse communities.

The following competencies are required for successful practice of community-engaged scholarship (Blanchard et al., 2009) at different levels:


  1. Understanding of concepts of community engagement and community-engaged scholarship (CES) and familiarity with basic literature and history of CES (e.g., Boyer, Glassick).
  2. Understanding of various contributors to community issues (e.g., economic, social, behavioral, political, environmental); developing skills and commitment for fostering community and social change.

Novice to Intermediate

  1. Knowledge of and skills in applying principles of CES in theory and practice, including:

                 a. Principles

                 b. Theoretical frameworks

                 c. Models and methods of planning

                 d. Implementation and evaluation


  1. Ability to work effectively in and with diverse communities.
  2. Ability to negotiate across community-academic groups.
  3. Ability to write grants expressing CES principles and approaches.
  4. Ability to write articles based on CES processes and outcomes for peer-reviewed publications.

Intermediate to Advanced

  1. Ability to transfer skills to the community, thereby enhancing community capacity, and ability to share skills with other faculty.
  2. Knowledge and successful application of definition of CES, CES benchmarks, scholarly products, and quality outcomes.


  1. Understanding CES policy implications and ability to work with communities in translating the process and findings of CES into policy.
  2. Ability to balance tasks in academia (e.g., research, teaching, service) posing special challenges to those engaged in CES in order to thrive in an academic environment.
  3. Ability to effectively describe scholarly components of the work in a portfolio for review, promotion and/or tenure.
  4. Knowledge of RPT process and its relationship with CES; ability to serve on RPT committee.
  5. Ability to mentor students and junior faculty in establishing and building CES-based portfolio.

What are benefits of Community- Engaged Scholarship?

  • Students and faculty learn to tell their stories working with the community
  • Students and faculty build “horizontal” research relationships with community members
  • Students and faculty question their researcher positionalities
  • Students and faculty develop identities as community-engaged scholars
  • Students and faculty have an opportunity to have a direct, positive impact upon the quality of life in their communities
  • Faculty move toward tenure
  • Universities can create a culture of supporting community-engagement

What are some institutional elements of Community-Engaged Scholarship?

  • Potential financial support for faculty engaged with the community
  • Employing administrative personnel whose responsibilities focus on community-engaged teaching and learning
  • Continuance of faculty development efforts that address community-engaged scholarship
  • Recognition in the form of promotion and tenure for community-engaged scholarship
  • Integration of various offices, programs, and other efforts that support community-engaged scholarship

How can Community-Engaged Scholarship faculty development programs be framed?

  • To help faculty members, community members, and students become co-learners and co-generators of knowledge
  • As an interdisciplinary and intergenerational experience
  • As a way to develop leaders who will advocate in their communities, departments, colleges, and across university/college campuses

References and Other Sources

Anderson, E. E., Solomon, S., Heitman, E., DuBois, J. M., Fisher, C. B., Kost, R. G., . . . Ross, L. F. (2012). Research ethics education for community-engaged research: A review and research agenda. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics: An International Journal, 7(2), 3-19. doi:10.1525/jer.2012.7.2.3

Blanchard L. W., Hanssmann C., Strauss R. P., Belliard J. C., Krichbaum K., Waters E., & Seifer S. D. (2009). Models for faculty development: What does it take to be a community-engaged scholar? Metropolitan Universities 20, 47-65.

Calleson, D. C., Jordan, C., & Seifer, S. D. (2005). Community-engaged scholarship: Is faculty work in communities a true academic enterprise? Academic Medicine: Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 80(4), 317-321. doi:10.1097/00001888-200504000-00002

Doberneck, D. M. (2016). Are we there yet: Community-engaged scholarship in the CIC’s reappointment, promotion, and tenure policies. Journal of Community Engaged Scholarship, 9, 7-17.

Doberneck, D. M., Glass, C. R., & Schweitzer, J. J. (2012). Beyond activity, place, and partner: How publicly engaged scholarship varies by intensity of activity and degree of engagement. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 4, 18-28.

Doberneck, D. M., & Schweitzer, J. H. (2017). Disciplinary variations in publicly engaged scholarship: An exploration using Biglan’s classification. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 21, 78-103.

Foster, K. M. (2010). Taking a stand: Community-engaged scholarship on the tenure track. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 3(2), 20.

Jaeger A. J., Katz Jameson J., & Clayton P. (2012). Institutionalization of community-engaged scholarship at institutions that are both land-grant and research universities. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(1), 149- 167.

Jameson, J. K., Jaeger, A. J., Clayton, P. H., & Bringle, R. G. (2012). Investigating faculty learning in the context of community-engaged scholarship. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 18(2), 40.

Marshall, E. A., Roche, T., Lawrence, B., & Coverdale, J. (2013). The science and art of community-engaged research: A mixed methods study. International Journal of Arts & Sciences, 6(3), 99.

Saltmarsh, J., Giles, D. E., Ward, E., & Buglione, S. M. (2009). Rewarding community-engaged scholarship. New Directions for Higher Education, 147, 25-35. doi:10.1002/he.355

Warren, M. R., Park, S. O., & Tieken, M. C. (2016). The formation of community-engaged scholars: A collaborative approach to doctoral training in education research. Harvard Educational Review, 86(2), 233-260. doi:10.17763/0017-8055.86.2.233