The Role of Community-Engaged Scholarship & Practice in Liberal Arts Colleges

In May 2022, the GLCA held a capstone meeting of the Mellon Foundation-supported Opening Doors of Dialogue initiative, bringing together campus and community representatives from 10 of our 13 member institutions. Information on the convening and some of the core recommendations emanating from the meeting can be found here.

As part of the convening, we brought together four scholar-practitioners who have worked in the field of community-campus collaboration. They were Hannah Apps, The Thomas K. Kreilick Professor of Economics at Kalamazoo College; Vicki Baker, E. Maynard Aris Endowed Professor in Economics and Management at Albion College; Rennie Parker, Community Schools Coordinator at Samuel Gompers School in the city of Philadelphia; and Professor Aimee La Pointe Teroski, Professor of Educational Leadership at Saint Joseph’s University. These scholar-practitioners opened the two and a half day convening with a panel discussion to offer insights that helped us consider issues in a broader frame. After a day of presentations by campus/community partners on what had been learned through roundtables held earlier in the year at each location, the scholar-practitioners also provided initial reflections on broad themes about what can best support successful campus-community collaboration.

Their work at this convening led these four to write the recently published article:

Baker, V. L., Apps, H., Terosky, A. L. & Parker, R. (2023). Setting an Agenda: The Role of Community-Engaged Scholarship and Practice in Liberal Arts Colleges. Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice, 6(1): 7, pp. 1–8.

In this article they note that liberal arts colleges, due to their mission, are poised to contribute to scholarship and practice that advances the field of community-engaged partnerships. They summarize key takeaways from the GLCA’s Opening Doors of Dialogue capstone convening. Importantly they learned that collaborations that engage diverse stakeholders are critical to the success and future of our institutions and our communities.