Principles of Sustaining Partnerships between Higher Education and their Larger Communities: Perspectives from Engineering Faculty Engaged in Learning through Service

Bowa George Tucker, David O Kazmer, Angela R Bielefeldt, Kurt Paterson, Olga Pierrakos, Annie Soisson, Chris Swan
2014 International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering  
With the increased focus on community engagement in higher education, engineering faculty members are using Learning through Service (LTS) as a viable way of providing a platform for interactive participatory student learning and involvement in the community. By engaging students to learn in the community, the creation of knowledge shifts from the classroom to the community. This paper explores how LTS engineering practitioners from a diverse range of institutions use LTS to engage community
more » ... tners in the co-creation of knowledge. Twenty-seven interviews were conducted with these faculty members to identify best practices for mutually beneficial partnership with the communities they serve. Analysis of the interview transcripts reveals six guiding principles of effective and sustainable community partnerships: 1) understand the needs of the community, 2) seek community feedback through direct interaction, 3) engage community partners from an asset-based viewpoint, 4) use cultural intermediaries in international LTS efforts, 5) deliver useful projects, and 6) sustain long-term relationships to improve project outcomes.
doi:10.24908/ijsle.v0i0.5131 fatcat:3kqzgjlnjjcsnex7fnbllulo6i