Community Advocate Model: Linking Communities, School Districts, and Universities to Support Families and Exchange Knowledge

Mary D. Burbank and Rosemarie Hunter

This study demonstrates the effectiveness of partnerships of K-16 and community advocates in improving pathways for sharing information and resources with underserved populations.


Increasingly diverse communities that reach across traditional boundaries are on the rise in urban communities in the United States. Changes taking place within these communities also affect K-16 institutions that serve them. As the landscape of American neighborhoods evolves, stakeholders collaborate to forge partnerships and programs that value and reflect these changes. The Community Advocate Model (CAM) presents a unique opportunity for establishing reciprocal relationships between parents from historically underserved populations and K-16 educators. By connecting families, school, community resources, and the university, parents are able to exchange information and have direct access to system educators. Similarly, rapidly increasing immigrant populations enhance these neighborhoods and systems with rich and diverse language and cultures, bringing new opportunities and challenges for local schools and higher education to meet their academic needs. Our research indicates the need for platforms where families, communities, and schools share information on access and success in public school in the United States. Among other areas, families cite the need for information on the developmental and social needs of K-12 students and resources on immigration, health services, and employment.



The landscape of America’s communities is changing. Nationally, nearly one third of school-age children are cultural minorities, with 16% of the teaching force from non-majority populations (National Center for Education Statistics, 1996). Projections for the next 20 years identify dramatic changes in national demographics, with 61% of population increases occurring among members of the Hispanic and Asian communities (Hodgkinson, 2002; Stanford, 1999). Response to the rapidly changing demographic shifts has been particularly dramatic in Salt Lake City, which has seen an increase in its minority population of 117% between 1990 and 2000 (Perlich, 2002).

In those years, one in three new residents was a member of a minority community, the Hispanic population more than doubled, and the primary urban school district reported 53% (2006 Salt Lake City district census data) in its non-majority student population. Like many homogenous, predominantly English-speaking communities, Salt Lake City is undergong rapid demographic shifts resulting in cultural and linguistic mismatches between those working in public schools and the students and families served by K-12 classrooms. For members of this urban community, linkages between multiple stakeholders were essential in providing opportunities for responding to a richly diverse landscape.

This investigation examined the ways an institution of higher education, an urban school district, and a local community, collaborate to build upon the insights of educators, community partners, and families seeking to improve the K-16 experiences of students and families. We describe a model for preparing parents as community advocates and discuss the perspectives of stakeholders in the project. We attend specifically to the roles of a university, school district, and community advocates as partners in building pathways to higher education. Key to the success of the current program was the willingness of those working within a community-based research partnership (Strand, Marullo, Cutforth, Stoecker, and Donohue, 2003) to provide support and insights.


Partners in Building Communities and Pathways to Higher Education

When stakeholders come together as partners to exchange knowledge, opportunities are present for members to develop the relationships essential to creating healthy communities. In their text on community-based research, Strand et al. (2003) discuss the components of truly collaborative efforts. Within these partnerships stakeholders work jointly to identify common issues worthy of investigation, with the goal of greater social justice and institutional reform for those within a community. Through the collaborative efforts of partners from a local school district, community organizations, institutions of higher education, and residents, project developers created opportunities for joint goal-setting. The partners developed a systematic plan for evaluating CAM successes and limitations. Along with sharing resources, stakeholders identified obstacles to greater participation in education and shared knowledge of ways to access higher education.

Strengthening K-16 educational experiences through campus-community partnerships has been a primary goal of the University of Utah, the Salt Lake City School District, community partners, and residents on Salt Lake City’s west side. In 2002, University Neighborhood Partners (UNP), a university-community engagement initiative, brought stakeholders together to develop partnerships focused on increasing the pathways to higher education for traditionally underserved students. UNP identified multiple avenues leading to public education success and ultimately accessing higher education.

In its mission statement, UNP works to “bring together University and west side resources in reciprocal learning, action, and benefit … a community coming together” ( UNP’s goal is to develop reciprocal relationships where all members’ knowledge and contributions are valued. UNP targets seven ethnically and culturally rich west side neighborhoods.


Building on Social Networks

The rapidly increasing immigrant and refugee populations in Salt Lake City’s northwest quadrant bring a richness and diversity that open opportunities for community members and local schools to collaborate in substantive ways. Capitalizing on the collaborative efforts of UNP, a steering committee of school district, university, and community partners identified ways of sharing knowledge about higher education that builds upon family and university expertise. The CAM emerged after a yearlong study by west side residents, area K-12 school administrators and staff, and university researchers. The west side’s relatively small size (seven neighborhoods, two zip codes), proximity to the University of Utah, and a history of partnerships reflect collaboration where players are more than institutional representatives. A history of working together allowed partners to capitalize on individual expertise where turf setting and second guessing were not on anyone’s agenda. CAM’s central goal, to increase access to and success in higher education, guided monthly meetings leading to implementation over two years.

In 2004 the partnership program was established to provide parents with tools and knowledge to support their children in education and to share the knowledge that parents bring with educators and the school district. As one of its primary objectives, the CAM addressed some of the challenges faced by many west side families by training a core group of community advocates who live in the neighborhoods and reflected the community’s cultural and linguistic diversity. The project advocates came together with University of Utah faculty, community leaders and educators, and family experts to gain the tools and skills necessary to navigate the public educational system with the ultimate goal of sharing their knowledge with other parents and members of their communities. The specific goals and objectives of the project included the development of resources and services to parents/families and their children through community advocate training that will: (1) identify ways of benefiting from the knowledge parents and families bring to school communities; (2) share information on how parents can successfully work with schools; (3) assist parents in becoming more involved in their child’s education; and (4) prepare advocates who will spread their knowledge to other parents.

Our model illustrates the power of collaborative networks in educating new generations of students. It pulls together families, school, community resources, and higher education in mutually beneficial relationships. The partnership goal stems from a philosophy of broadening an understanding where shared knowledge will benefit schools, families, and the communities. By sharing knowledge, goals, and long-term aspirations for education, the partnership supports greater voice and involvement of traditionally underserved parents in the K-16 schools. The partnership provides families with both a public forum for contributing to their children’s education and access to the tools for succeeding in contemporary K-16 schools.


The Power of Advocacy Programs

Researchers and practitioners have long known the “funds of knowledge” (Moll and Gonzales, 1997) that students bring to schools should be recognized and celebrated. Through legitimizing backgrounds, life experiences, and ways of approaching work, students, school, home, and community are meaningfully connected. In addition to recognizing the knowledge that children and parents bring to school communities, parent advocacy groups serve as ambassadors linking schools to homes and homes to schools.

Historically, parent advocacy groups served the needs of students receiving special education services. Advocates’ roles vary from helping families write letters and attend meetings to sharing information on policies and the law, questioning strategies, and developing educational plans (Wrightslaw, 2006). More recently, advocates serve as communication links for many families whose children are affected by state and national standardization and accountability movements (e.g., No Child Left Behind, particularly within the context of Title I schools). Advocates assist families in learning more about current accountability issues; they provide parents with information on testing and the ways in which performance is measured; and they share information on how parents and caregivers can access services such as tutoring and special education services (Burbank, 2008).


Community Advocate Program Design

Workshop Training Series. During the 2005-2006 academic year, two workshop series provided members of the west side community with information on education-related topics. The first workshop included a two-day training session for Spanish speakers delivered by members of the school district, community organizations, and university faculty. Funding through a 21st Century Learning Grant provided participants with transportation to the two fall sessions, child care, meals, and stipends for participation. The spring 2006 training was specifically geared toward English speakers and included the same services.

Recruitment. Under the guidance of a community advocate working collaboratively with the program director, participants from the community were recruited as members of an existing group that met regularly to discuss issues related to education and services for families. The fall 2005 training delivered in Spanish served 14 participants, and the spring session served 18. Families were provided with workshop sessions that focused on community schools, advocacy for children, building relationships between families and schools, accessing school services, healthy habits, and information on resources for children receiving special education services. Additional sessions were geared toward the developmental needs of children from birth through adulthood and higher education.

During the spring 2006 workshops, 18 participants took part in two half-day workshops delivered in English. The workshop content of the spring series mirrored the fall presentation. Participants shared extremely positive feedback including their reactions to sessions that focused on how to interact with their children, suggestions for effectively communicating with their children, and ideas on how to engage in activities other than watching television. Participants commented positively on the workshop presentations on effective strategies for communicating with teachers and ideas on how to become more involved in their children’s schools.

Workshop presentations on strategies for self-care and self-improvement practices within their own education or career goals were also highlighted positively. Participants also cited as particularly useful their newfound knowledge regarding their rights as parents.



To answer our research question regarding the impact of a workshop series on family advocacy, we collected data from three groups of participants: (1) families from the local community who took part in the workshop series; (2) leaders of the advocacy training sessions; and (3) stakeholders from the university, community, and school district steering the project. The first evaluation was conducted from data gathered from parent participants in the 2006 workshop series. A program evaluator and graduate assistant from the university facilitated the evaluation. A total of 13 workshop participants were present and contributed to the evaluation. Focus group participants were asked to evaluate the quality of their experiences in the workshops, to make suggestions for future workshops, and to develop plans for incorporating the information gained into their daily lives and communities.

Quantitative data on the surveys completed by project stakeholders were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Because of the low total (n = 20) no statistical analyses were performed. To analyze the qualitative data we began by having each research team member examine the content of focus group transcripts, meeting transcripts, and interviews. Using grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967), we determined dominant themes using a form of triangulation (Denzin, 1989). Table 1 summarizes the major qualitative findings of the workshop series.



Family Participants

Participants generally gave extremely positive feedback regarding their workshop experiences. Content areas received positively included how to interact with their children, strategies for increased communication with their children, ideas for engaging in activities other than watching television, tools for improving communication with teachers, suggestions for becoming more involved in their children’s schools, and suggestions for engaging in self-care and self-improvement in conjunction with their own education or career goals.

Participants also indicated that attendance at the workshop series helped them understand their rights as parents better. Parents reported that the information they learned was very valuable and that they would share the information with other parents, neighbors, family members, and friends — indicating a knowledge ripple effect within the community.

Suggestions for improving the workshops included infusing strategies for interventions related to behavioral problems or gang issues, inviting teachers to speak about their perspective so that parents could learn from what teachers have to say, and identifying how, from the perspective of classroom teachers, to become more involved as parents


Partners in Collaboration — Workshop

Trainers’ Perspectives

A focus group of workshop session leaders was held to evaluate their perceptions of the success of the series. Focus group questions asked workshop coordinators to identify whether the series was a success, including strengths, weaknesses, and suggestions for future sessions.

Asked about the utility of various workshops, a trainer who shared information on life in middle schools reported that the parents who participated in the trip to her school “loved the meeting at the middle school.” The parents were reported as being “in awe” of the school. Prior to their visit they had been intimidated to go into the building. One of the mothers said she was glad to hear that the glass in the building was shatter proof. A group of parents whose children currently attend a local elementary school reported that the middle school tour served as an opportunity to understand what their children had to look forward to as they moved to middle school. The tour provided information on after-school programs, and participants reported being very excited to learn about the organization of the school. A discussion on the school’s middle school teaming approach gave parents a feeling of support. They were particularly interested in understanding campus safety and security and how the school system worked.

One session facilitator mentioned the importance of providing opportunities for parents to become a part of the process of learning about school and being a part of their children’s lives in schools. She also noted that parents in attendance felt a camaraderie with each other. According to the middle school facilitator, participants were “overwhelmed by the resources” the school was able to offer.” One mother commented on the merits of community education through classes as being a “great opportunity” for a mother and daughter to complete coursework together.

In addition to the general school tour a group facilitator suggested the need for more time to share information on all that the school had to offer. Increased time was suggested with a specific focus on the components and strategies for navigating the school experience. Further suggestions included the need for grade level tours on how to navigate public education at various stages of a child’s school career. Suggested workshop topics included providing help with tasks such as reading a report card, understanding concepts such as GPAs, and strategies on how to navigate the school system.


Future Workshops: Topics and Formats

The focus group participants discussed additional topics of interest for parents attending future meetings. Specific suggestions included sessions on the social and behavioral needs of adolescents. One facilitator noted that parents are often aware of the social and behavioral changes in their children and are not always aware of how to respond to the specific needs of teenagers. Another noted that many parents require information on “normal” behavior for adolescents and found that reassuring. Sessions on the developmental needs of students at various age levels could be discussed during separate sessions based upon the grade levels and ages of students. Parents were reported as eager to learn whatever information is available.

A suggestion was made for future workshops where parents could be provided with information on opportunities to understand that students’ needs vary over the course of the school experiences. These sessions would provide parents with information on how higher education, and education in general, can be part of their lives.

This emphasis on higher education was called significant by a facilitator: “If families don’t know anyone who has ever been to college, then the families may need connections with those individuals who have the ability to make additional connections.” Additional suggestions shared by the workshop facilitators included: (1) using parents and advocates as facilitators in future projects and workshops; (2) holding separate sessions for parents needing information related to the individualized education process; (3) discussing open classrooms as examples of ways in which parents may become involved in school sessions; (4) teaching parents and care-givers skills that help them assert their rights or encourage greater empowerment; (5) understanding the special needs of immigrants. (One facilitator noted that simply moving to the United States brings a complex set of challenges and stressors. Facilitators suggested attention to the stress factors that children experience just by moving into a new system. Issues of work status and legal standing were suggested as areas for future discussion.); (6) examining work schedules and pressures of life and their impact on follow-through; (7) considering topics on such matters as gang intervention, delinquency issues, and step by step information on attending college.

A question was posed regarding the size and composition of workshop sessions. Facilitators suggested smaller sessions where parents have greater choice in attendance. Additional facilitation of the sessions was suggested: Small group sessions could follow a general meeting format followed by breakout sessions that align with individual interests and needs.

Participant feedback identified the need for a friendlier presentation format. Mothers didn’t like sitting in uncomfortable chairs. They expressed the need to move around a bit more and to make the daily schedule shorter. Other suggestions included taking away barriers such as tables to encourage participants to talk more about issues and needs. The parents who participated in the 2005 series were open and willing to learn.

We discovered from participant feedback that facilitators need to be aware of differences in needs based on immigration and documentation status. Some parents were documented, some not. Concerns of undocumented parents were often related to their own status, as well as to their children’s needs. Facilitators suggested bringing in aides who could provide more explicit information.

Facilitators suggested the need for more time to talk about the broader issues families are facing. Presenters and planners were encouraged to consider the viewpoints of many immigrant families with regard to work and education. There is an assumption that once a degree is obtained all doors open, and parents often expect to see money coming back to the family. Families are often unaware that the payback from education is not as substantial and immediate as expected.

Some participants thought too much content led to levels of restlessness and side conversations by some participants. To combat this concern, participants suggested greater opportunities to actively participate and a need for addressing learning styles within the presentations to actively engage in content by talking about issues, applying content to their lives, and brainstorming plans for putting ideas into action. Participants noted the importance of a conversation style versus lecture presentations. Language differences didn’t seem to matter as much as the delivery.


Partners in Collaboration

Stakeholders’ Perspectives

In addition to gathering feedback on the workshop series from parent participants and workshop facilitators, Families United steering committee evaluated the work of the Families United workshop series. Using closed- and open-ended questions, we gathered feedback from university, community, and school district partners. While there are 73 official members of the network, there are 20 network members who regularly attend meetings. Assuming a pool of 20 would have likely responded to the spring 2006 survey, a return rate of 60% is reported. Overall, responses were very positive and reflect general support of the project.


Close-Ended Questions

Network members were asked to rate the following statements on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “not at all,” 3 being “somewhat,” and 5 being “completely”; responses were all toward the positive end of the scale:

1. Would the workshop series provide representatives from the community with the knowledge and skills necessary for learning more about the local educational system (mean = 3.75, sd = .45)?

2. Would the series assist in developing and facilitating a community advocacy training program that will: (a) educate parents on how to successfully work with schools (mean = 3.67, sd = .65); (b) assist parents in becoming more involved in their child’s education (mean = 3.75, sd = .62); (c) produce advocates who will spread their knowledge to other parents (mean = 3.42 (sd = .51); (d) build a network through collaboration between area schools, the university, and community organizations (mean = 4.00, sd = .60)?

Respondents indicated as strengths the basic information and resources available to parents; parents coming together and sharing knowledge of mutual concerns; preparing parents to work with schools; preparing parents to support their children; and giving parents an overview on how to navigate the educational system.

They described the instructors brought in from the different agencies to mentor and teach as “wonderful,” and they affirmed that the series empowers people who live in the community and provides opportunities for sharing new ideas and skills.

Regarding limitations, they noted the challenge of covering many worthy topics within the time constraints of parents; that some topics are not pertinent to all parents and others need additional discussion time; and the need for additional training for parents to become trainers of other parents.

Asked to explain how the workshop series helped educate parents on how to work successfully with schools, they indicated that because schools, nonprofits, and the university are involved in planning the training, schools are prepared to engage the parents once they get community advocate training. They were also aware that parents can become engaged in their neighborhood schools and can become aware of what is available at their schools. Because school personnel are an integral part of the training, more follow-up and mentoring may be necessary.

Members were asked to identify the ways training would assist parents in becoming more involved in their child’s education. They indicated that the training helps to increase parents’ confidence that they can support and advocate for their children; gives them contact names if they encounter challenges; gives them examples and opportunities for involvement; helps them become aware about the need to become involved in their child’s education; reduces their fears about becoming involved; and teaches them about a variety of ways to become involved.

Members were asked to list ways in which advocate training would transfer to the wider community. They indicated that the parent advocates will educate neighbors and friends about what they have learned and make more resources available; through word of mouth, parents will influence other parents to become involved and may pass along some of the training to other parents; and the parents who were involved may be seen as leaders within their different family and community networks.


Next Steps

While the primary goal of the first year was to develop and implement a workshop series, long-term goals are focused on the development of sustained frameworks designed to encourage participants to share their newfound knowledge with members of the community. Parents shared that the workshop information was very valuable and that they plan to share the information with other parents, neighbors, family members, and friends, indicating a larger ripple effect within the community.

Parents’ suggestions on how to improve the workshops included incorporating more intervention strategies with regard to behavioral problems or gang issues. They also suggested including more teacher-speakers so that parent advocates could learn from the experiences of educators. The perspectives of educators were recommended as mechanisms for helping families learn as much as possible from teachers. Two project goals have been identified as mechanisms for broadening the audience with whom the information will be shared. To begin, a series of general follow-up activities was suggested as a way of sharing the workshop information with friends and neighbors. Suggestions included topics for parents such as:

• Taking parents from your child’s school on a tour of the school.

• Setting up a meeting with the principal of your child’s school to talk about the training and identify how you can become more involved at the school.

• Signing up to volunteer at your child’s school as a tutor/homework helper.

• Reading to/with your child three times a week, and then after a month, four times a week and then five times a week.

• Planning a trip for you and your child to the art museum, planetarium, or natural history museum.

• Spending 10 minutes each day talking with your child about what he/she learned in school that day.

• Deciding how much TV your child is allowed to watch each day and then making a list of activities your child can do instead of watching TV.

• Signing your child up for a dance, art, or music class through city-based activities.

The second plan for extending the impact of the work series is to provide these newly trained advocates with opportunities to work within the local school district. Plans are in place for community advocates to use their training to benefit other families. Participants will be recognized for their participation as school-based advocates through free educational opportunities for advocates and their children.



Increasingly diverse communities that reach across traditional boundaries are on the rise in major urban communities in the United States. Changes taking place within these communities are also occurring in the K-16 institutions that serve them. As American neighborhoods evolve, stakeholders collaborate to forge partnerships and programs that value and reflect these changes.

After a year-long collaborative study by the University of Utah, an urban school district, and community partners, the Community Advocate Model emerged as a campus-community partnership focused on connecting families, schools, and community resources to empower families living in northwest Salt Lake City to support their children’s success in education. By training a core group of parent advocates, the program addresses and fosters better understanding of the challenges facing families in these neighborhoods. Advocate training sessions were conducted by university faculty, community leaders, educators, and family experts. The workshop content was designed to equip families with the tools necessary to navigate the public educational system with the ultimate goal of sharing their knowledge with members of their communities. During the 2005-2006 academic year, two workshop series provided 32 members of the west side community with information on education-related-topics. The fall 2005 training delivered in Spanish served 14 participants with the spring session serving 18 community members.

Overall, family participants shared positive feedback, including their reactions to sessions that focused on how to effectively communicate with their children and with teachers and regarding strategies for self-care and parental rights. Additionally, parents reported that the information they learned was very valuable and that they would share the information with other parents, neighbors, family members, and friends. Family participants’ suggestions for improving the workshops included adding strategies for interventions related to behavioral problems or gang issues; inviting teachers to speak about their perspective so that parents could learn from what teachers have to say; and identifying how to become more involved as parents from the perspective of classroom teachers.

Presenters identified providing opportunities for parents to become a part of the process of learning about school and being a part of their children’s life in schools as one of the strengths of the program. Overall, presenters shared that participants were particularly interested in learning about how school systems operated and ways to support their children in education. Facilitators’ suggestions included social and behavioral development of children and adolescents; information on higher education and a variety of topics geared to provide immigrant parents with information about how systems in the United States operate; and how to achieve greater voice and empowerment.

Community partners also provided a positive assessment of the workshop series, reporting that the content of the workshop would educate parents on how to successfully work with schools and provide parents who will share their knowledge with other families in the communities. When examining limitations, members identified the need for more interactive training and additional information on developmental and behavioral issues. Presenters suggested sharing the series with a broader audience and adding topics for follow-up information sessions.

The Community Advocate Model presents a unique opportunity for establishing reciprocal relationships between parents from under-represented populations and K-16 educators. By connecting families, school, community resources, and the university, parents are able to exchange information and have direct access to system educators. Similarly, rapidly increasing immigrant populations enhance these neighborhoods and systems with their rich and diverse language and cultures, bringing new opportunities for local schools and higher education to meet their academic needs.



Burbank, M.D. (2008). Developing as a professional: A guide for contemporary paraprofessionals. Thomson-Delmar Learning.

Denzin, N.K. (1989). The Research Act (3rd edition). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Chicago: Aldine

Hodgkinson, H. (2002). Demographics and teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 53, 102-105.

Moll, L., & González, N. (1997). Teachers as social scientists: Learning about culture from household research. In Peter M. Hall, Ed., Race, ethnicity and multiculturalism, pp. 89-114. Vol. 1, Missouri Symposium on Research and Educational Policy. New York: Garland Publishing.

National Center for Education Statistics (2003). The condition of education. Washington, DC: Department of Education.

Perlich, P. (2002). Utah minorities: The story told by 150 years of census data. Salt Lake City: Western University.

Stanford, B. (1999). Tapping the wisdom of positive, persevering teachers: The South Central L.A. study. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Montreal, Canada.

Wrightslaw (2006). Special Education Advocacy: Getting Started. Retrieved February 2, 2006 from


About the Authors

Mary D. Burbank is clinical associate professor in the College of Education, and Rosemarie Hunter is special assistant to the president for Campus-Community Partnerships, University Neighborhood Partners, both at the University of Utah. Burbank can be reached at

Youth Community Engagement: A Recipe for Success

Mary E. Arnold, Brooke Dolenc, and Elissa E. Wells

The 4-H program provides a model for successful community engagement. Youth and adult partners plan and host community forums to identify community needs and take action to address them. 



This article describes how community engagement contributes to youth development. Drawing on the literature on youth engagement, youth development, and youth-adult partnerships, the authors examine a successful community youth engagement program that engages youth and their adult partners in a participatory evaluation project that results in community action. The research emphasizes the important role of youth-adult partnerships in community youth engagement projects and outlines strategies for success.



Imagine this scene, played out frequently by community groups with the best intentions for youth: A boardroom table is surrounded mainly by adults with one or two youth at the table. The youth at the meeting have been honored with the responsibility of being representatives on the board. Because they value youth perspectives, the adults feel good about including them. The conversation, while important to the work of the group, is clearly not resonating with the youth, who do their best to appear engaged and interested. As the discourse continues the youth rarely speak up, and when they do, they are cut off or not fully understood by the adults running the meeting. At the end of the meeting the youth feel set free, having fulfilled yet another “leadership” expectation, even if they are unclear about the role they actually played. The adults feel satisfied, knowing they have included the voice of youth, thus demonstrating their commitment to youth development in their community.

While this vignette intentionally paints a stereotypical picture of youth involvement, it also highlights the common struggles of engaging youth in meaningful roles that lead to community engagement and social change.

Youth community engagement in recent years has developed significant momentum. Developmentalists, researchers, and community leaders agree that involving youth in addressing issues that affect them has tremendous potential for social change. As with many emerging fields, much more is needed, particularly in developing effective methods for youth engagement. Nonetheless, considerable advances in the field have been made. Drawing on the literature of youth engagement, youth-adult partnerships, participatory evaluation with youth, and positive youth development, this article highlights an innovative youth development program that culminates in community decision making and social action. Observers of this program will not find youth sitting passively around a boardroom table, but rather working side by side with adults and community members to identify community concerns and take action to address issues that matter to them.


Youth Engagement

Youth have been participating in social change in the United States for many years. The Vietnam War and civil rights movement are two relatively recent examples. Youth volunteerism is on the rise, with over 55% of youth participating in volunteer activities (National and Community Service, 2004). There is also growing evidence that engaging youth is a critical component of effective youth programming (Gambone and Connell, 2004). As youth organizations respond to the importance of youth engagement, most have focused on youth’s role in governance or other decision making bodies. Hence, the boardroom meeting described above can be prevalent among agencies desiring to move in the right direction with youth. But according to the Search Institute (2005), there are many ways to engage youth. Here is its list of eight domains of youth engagement:

1. Youth service: volunteerism, community service, and service learning.

2. Youth leadership: often developmental in nature, helping youth acquire skills to understand and address issues affecting them.

3. Youth decision making: youth in governance or other roles that lead to decision making in a community.

4. Youth philanthropy: giving of one’s time and resources for the benefit of others.

5. Youth political engagement: youth in civic and political affairs.

6. Youth organizing: community organizing and advocacy.

7. Youth media: developed and disseminated by youth.

8. Youth evaluation and research: youth in systematic inquiry into issues that affect them and their communities.

Zeldin, Petrokubi, and MacNeil (2008) outline similar strategies for youth engagement, including: (1) governance and policy making; (2) training and outreach; (3) organizing and activism; (4) communication and media; (5) service and philanthropy; and (6) research and evaluation. The identification of multiple ways to engage youth has led to innovative programs seeking to identify successful practices for youth engagement. An area receiving particular attention recently, engaging youth as full partners in research and evaluation on programs that affect them, is youth participatory evaluation.


Youth Participatory Evaluation

Important youth contributions to participatory evaluation include theoretical development (Checkoway and Gutierrez, 2007; Fetterman, 2003; Sabo, 2003), and practical strategies (Camino, Zeldin, Mook, and O’Conner, 2004; Checkoway and Richards-Schuster, 2006; Delgado, 2006; London, Zimmerman, and Erbstein, 2003; The Innovation Center, 2005; Sabo Flores, 2008). They are natural outgrowths of the general participatory evaluation movement within the larger field of program evaluation. Participatory evaluation itself is rooted in the field of action research emphasizing purposeful use of research results for community improvement. Building on the idea of stakeholders having an important role in evaluating the programs that affect them, participatory evaluation has established a foothold in a variety of social evaluation projects, particularly in community development, education, and community health. Participatory evaluation emphasizes strengthening communities through the empowerment of local citizens and stakeholders as they discover and use evaluation knowledge for their own betterment (Cousins and Whitmore, 1998).

As the field of participatory evaluation evolved, continued refinement of its purpose occurred. Particularly striking was the differentiation between efforts that promoted the use of evaluation findings, also known as practical participatory evaluation, and efforts that emphasized social justice and empowerment of the evaluation participants, known as transformative participatory evaluation (Brisolara, 1998; Cousins and Whitmore, 1998). An interesting dynamic of youth participatory evaluation is its dual emphasis on practical and transformative evaluation. As Sabo (2003) points out, the distinction between the two loses some relevance when applied to youth because of the developmental nature of working with youth, because as a whole, the voice of youth is underrepresented in programs that affect them. Youth participation in the evaluation of programs has potential to increase the practical utility of findings as well as to transform participating youth, thus contributing to their own positive development. Indeed, one reason this dual approach has gained traction is because of the changes in developmental theory that have occurred in the last 20 years (Sabo, 2003).


Positive Youth Development

Before the 1990s, most programs for youth focused on interventions to help youth at risk for a variety of problems. While research and programming for at-risk youth continue, programs for other youth are not. However, the movement toward positive programming for all youth was greatly aided by Pittman’s (1991) statement that “problem free is not fully prepared.” Since the early 1990s, the field of positive youth development, and the influence of such programs on child and adolescent development, continues to undergo theoretical development (Catalano, Berglund, Ryan, Lonczak, and Hawkins, 2002; Eccles and Gootman, 2002; Lerner, 2004; Pittman, 1991; Roth and Brooks-Gunn, 2003). Furthermore, clarification and general agreement about the outcomes of positive youth development programs are being ardently sought after in research. These developments are welcome news for researchers, practitioners, and funders, who have long struggled to articulate the theory, intent, and impact of positive youth development programming.

The goal of positive youth development programs is to encourage and facilitate the growth of “functionally valued” behaviors resulting in thriving and well-being throughout adolescence, with the ultimate goal of helping youth develop into productive and contributing adults (Damon, 2004; Lerner, 2004; Roth and Brooks-Gunn, 2003). Functionally valued behaviors include competence, character, connection, confidence, and caring, commonly called the “5 C’s.” (Eccles and Gootman, 2002; Lerner, Fisher, and Weinberg, 2000; Pittman, Irby, and Ferber, 2001; Roth and Brooks-Gunn, 2003). The ultimate outcome of the 5 C’s is a positive contribution to one’s community, increasing through adolescence and becoming a valued aspect of one’s adult life (Lerner, 2004). Others have also noted the role a growing sense of contribution plays in healthy adolescent development. Blum (2003) notes that activities in service to others (contribution) play an important function in the development of a young person’s sense of competence and self-worth. Likewise, Damon (1995; 2004) says that a young person’s expectation to “give something back” plays a key role in that person’s civic and moral development. Benson (1997) includes responsibility and service as well as high expectations from adults among the important developmental assets for youth, and Gambone and Connell (2004) outline youths’ positive contribution to community as one of the long-term outcomes as they move into adulthood.

One of the hallmarks of positive youth development programs is the atmosphere in which the program takes place (Roth and Brooks Gunn, 2003). Kress (2004) identified four essential elements of positive youth programming. These elements outline the types of opportunities that youth must be given through positive youth development programs: (1) to feel a sense of belonging; (2) to develop mastery; (3) to develop independence; and (4) to practice generosity. Inclusion of these elements in youth development programs sets the stage for youth to develop into community leaders.

In addition to the program context, the presence of an ongoing relationship with a non-parental adult is critical to the success of positive youth development programs. Adults provide youth with encouragement and support, and in the best cases, gradually allow youth to take more and more active leadership in the programs that serve them. As the field of positive youth development continued to change, so did the philosophy underscoring the programming methods. Not so long ago it was common to hear adults speak of conducting programs to youth. Later, the language changed to refer to programming for youth, and more recently programming with youth can be heard among adult youth workers. Indeed, understanding the role a youth-adult partnership plays in youth development is receiving much current attention in the literature. Although youth-adult partnerships are an important aspect of youth development programs, these partnerships do not happen easily or without significant buy-in, training, and support.


Youth-Adult Partnerships: the Critical Link

Youth programming conducted in partnership with the audience it serves sparked new program development around youth-adult partnerships. The youth-adult partnership movement itself reflects the deeper philosophical shift taking place. As Zeldin, Petrokubi, and MacNeil (2008) point out, developing a youth-adult partnership curriculum was not enough. The more pertinent issue was the need to understand and embrace a whole new set of principles and values underlying youth programming.

Research into the effective adoption of youth-adult partnership principles is limited and reveals mixed results. In a study of five demonstration sites for involving youth in governance programs, Jones, Byer, and Zeldin (2008) discovered that buy-in from local staff is critical to successful implementation of such programs. Buy-in alone, however, is not enough. Even staff members who believed in youth-adult partnerships often lacked support, resources, or training to make youth-adult partnerships an integrated part of ongoing programming.

In addition, momentum appeared to be an important element of success. Programs lost momentum when there were delays or cancellation of events, as youth and adults often became involved in other projects. A related challenge is that youth often juggle multiple responsibilities: school, sports, clubs, and other leadership roles. As such, youth need to feel that their efforts are valued and make a difference or they are likely to fall away from youth-adult partnerships. Projects able to spark youth interest and with a clear structure, direction, and timeline appear to be important elements of successful programs (Jones, Byer, and Zeldin, 2008).

In a study investigating the adoption of youth-adult partnership practices into existing 4-H Youth Development programs, Zeldin, Petrokubi, and MacNeil (2008) discovered three goals and leverages for success. First, the goal of “planting seeds,” or setting the stage for a new programming expectation, is recommended. Key ways to achieve this goal include garnering the support of people who already support the idea (“champions”), building social networks, and connecting youth-adult partnerships with existing priorities and responsibilities of stakeholders. The second goal focuses on “walking the talk,” thus modeling the principles and expectations of youth-adult partnership programming whenever possible.

Achievement of the second goal happens by providing continual access to research, ideas, and best practices; through hands-on coaching and training of stakeholders; and through group reflection and planning related to higher quality implementation of youth-adult partnerships principles. The final goal is to reach the point of “how we do business,” where youth-adult partnerships are fully integrated into ongoing program efforts with sufficient infrastructure to support the role expectations and responsibilities for all stakeholders. When this happens a collective narrative emerges of youth contributions to the organization. Moreover, Zeldin, Petrokubi, and MacNeil (2008) also found significant barriers to the adoption of youth-adult partnerships, including pushback from stakeholders in “traditional” programs, the need for program staff to sell the idea of youth-adult partnerships to stakeholders, and time constraints.

Expansion in positive youth development and participatory evaluation and lessons learned about youth-adult partnerships and youth engagement provide a provocative backdrop on which to develop community youth engagement programs. Emerging from the new understanding are the keys to youth engagement program success.

It is clear that the essential link between youth and community engagement is effective youth-adult partnerships. The review of the youth-adult partnership literature, however, reveals that adoption of these practices can be difficult. Important considerations for success also include: (1) dissemination of youth-adult partnerships through a program plan that uses an outline for implementation, but allows for individual variations depending on location; (2) infusing youth-adult partnership principles through ongoing programming; (3) developing programs that are finite in nature with clear start and end points; (4) building programs around curriculum and projects that are already familiar to the participants; and (5) recognizing that without strategic and patient efforts, stereotypes and roadblocks to successful youth-adult partnerships and youth community engagement will persist (Wheeler, 2007). A 4-H program for community engagement entitled the Participatory Evaluation with Youth Community Action program was designed to engage youth in social science research. This program provides an exemplary model of effectively preparing youth for successful community engagement.

The program trains youth and their adult partners to plan and host community forums in order to identify a community need that can be addressed by an action project. The program follows the social inquiry model; thus participants also gain skills in research and evaluation. The program training schedule and activities follow Arnold and Wells’ (2007) participatory evaluation with youth curriculum. Training activities are highly interactive and hands-on and match the cycle of social inquiry. An outline of the training is provided in Table 1.


Putting it all Together: Participatory Evaluation as a Method for Youth Engagement

The 4-H program originates in the youth branch of the Cooperative States Research, Education, and Extension agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. For over 100 years the 4-H program has provided youth with opportunities for hands-on learning with an emphasis on leadership, citizenship, and community service. Years ago, 4-H focused on innovations for farming and for boys and home stewardship for girls. While the agriculture and home economics roots are still present, 4-H members of both genders now participate in projects related to technology, natural resources, science, health, and engineering. In addition to emphasizing youth-adult partnerships, 4-H has long recognized the importance of engaging youth in communities.

4-H is emerging as a leading program for positive youth development (Lerner, 2008), and has made significant strides in articulating its program theory to facilitate the measurement and impact of its programs. Rennekamp and Arnold (2006) developed a model describing the 4-H program theory that emphasizes how youth are engaged in learning content while at the same time developing skills such as responsibility and leadership. Learning takes place within an intentional program atmosphere that emphasizes the four essential elements outlined by Kress (2004). The model predicts that such learning leads to positive youth development and ultimately to long-term well-being in adulthood (see Figure 1).

Importance of Training

As noted earlier, having youth work in partnership with adults is a key strategy for building youth empowerment and engagement, but in order for these partnerships to be positive and productive, youth and adult teams must receive training in how to work together meaningfully. Training begins with activities designed to help youth and adults work together as teams. For example, one activity asks youth and adults to brainstorm the benefits and challenges of working together. Each group (youth or adults) then take turns sharing their thoughts by posting the benefits and challenges on the wall. Adults are usually very frank in their assessments, saying youth are “overcommitted” and “impractical.” Likewise, youth will often say the adults are “too rigid” and “old-fashioned.” But the adults are also likely to comment on the youth’s creativity and enthusiasm, while the youth will recognize adults for their wisdom and experience. Activities build on each other to help teams explore the nuances of working together, assessing differences and similarities, and exposing potential problems, such as adultism (adult bias against children). Each activity is debriefed before the next one is introduced. At the end of the session, participants are invited to reflect on their personal experience and learning and to share their thoughts with the rest of the group. The sessions increase understanding between youth and adults and set the stage for clear communication during the rest of the training and for future youth-adult interactions.

Preparing to Plan and Host a Community Forum

The majority of the training prepares teams to plan and host a community forum as a form of community data collection. To set the stage, the trainers host a mock forum, where training staff are the hosts and moderators and training participants are the forum attendees. At the end of the mock forum, training staff highlight the various processes that contribute to the success of the forum, including moderator and recorder skills and techniques for facilitating audience participation. Following the mock forum, activities focus on helping participants identify appropriate forum topics, and teams brainstorm a potential topic for their forum. Later, the youth practice moderating and recording techniques during actual mini-forums held during the training. A debriefing session at the end of the mini-forums allows youth and adults opportunities to discuss possible solutions to problems that may arise during the forum.


Data Analysis, Reporting, and Action Planning

In addition to preparing for a community forum, a series of training activities teach youth how to organize and analyze the information gathered at a forum through a content analysis exercise. Teams complete a separate analysis of data gathered through a brainstorming exercise and share their results with the larger group through a poster presentation, allowing an opportunity to practice reporting research findings. The training ends with a session on team action planning, providing participants with an understanding of the steps and strategies for effective action planning.


Program Evaluation and Impact

A formal process and outcome evaluation of the program was conducted. Three questions guided the evaluation:

1. What is the quality of the training?

2. Do training participants gains skills and knowledge related to the learning outcomes?

3. Are the teams able to plan and host a community forum and carry out a community action project?


Process Evaluation

Evaluation of the trainings was ongoing. Qualitative data collected throughout the trainings ranged from informal debriefings following an activity to more structured activities such as written reflections. These “checkpoints” allowed trainers to understand how well the training was going and what participants were learning and experiencing. Careful notes were kept about what worked and what did not. The notes were used to create the facilitator’s notes in the curriculum (Arnold and Wells, 2007.) Examples include the importance of creating and discussing ground rules for the training with participants before training begins, making sure adults understand they are active participants in the project (not just chaperones), and debriefing participants.

Beyond the training, each site was monitored for successful program implementation to see how well the project unfolded once the teams returned to their communities. Several consistent issues came up across sites, with one of the biggest being low attendance at the community forums. This information was used to develop recommendations for more successful forum planning.


Outcome Evaluation

The program curriculum has been used to train 16 teams of youth and adults over the past two years. A self-report learning assessment conducted at the end of each training measured participant knowledge and skills in each of the eight topics covered in the training. Using a retrospective pre-test method, participants rated their level of knowledge and skills before and after the training on a five-point scale [none (1), a little (2), some (3), quite a bit (4), and a lot! (5)). Figure 2 shows pre and post mean participant ratings. A paired t-test analysis revealed significant differences between pre and post means for all items (p < .01). In addition, over 97% of respondents indicated that they: (1) enjoyed the training; (2) learned things they could use; (3) felt prepared to lead a community forum; and (4) learned things they had not learned in other places. Respondents also rated the training quality as “good” or “very good” (85%), and 92% rated the effectiveness of the training as “good” or “very good.”

Two longer-term outcomes for the project, hosting a community forum and conducting an action project, were monitored for success. Of the five teams trained in 2007, four have hosted a forum and completed an action project. The fifth team drop from the project immediately following the training. Ten teams were trained in 2008. The trainings took place in January and February, and to date four of the teams have held community forums, and two teams have completed an action project. Action projects completed so far include refurbishing bleachers at a local high school, planning and hosting a series of community youth and family activity nights, and planting flowers to enhance a community in preparation for hosting the U. S. Olympic track and field trials.

Narrative evidence from youth participants further highlights the impact of the program. The positive effect the community action project had on the community was eye-opening for one participant who stated:

“One of my favorite things about the forum was seeing all of our hard work put to use in the final project, which was sprucing up the events center in time for the Olympic Trials. Our project reached many more people than I had originally thought it would, and I was gratified when over 50 people volunteered their time to pull weeds and get dirty with us.”

Another stated: “One of the things I learned most from this process is that if even just a few people take the time to organize something like a forum, it is really a great way to bring the community together and do something important.”

Another highlighted the reach of engagement that took place, saying: “You really do impact a lot more people than you think you do. By listening to everyone’s idea it can generate into something bigger than yourselves.”

Finally, the personal development of youth engaged in the project was articulated by a participant who said: “By participating in the program I know how to express my opinion in a diplomatic and straightforward manner. It meant a great deal to be a part of a statewide community action event. I felt that all of the youth went away feeling far more confident and with greatly improved communication skills.”


The Scholarship of Integration and Application: A Model Program for Effective Youth Community Engagement

In his provocative work challenging the status quo of academic scholarship, which traditionally focuses on the generation of new knowledge, Boyer (1990) argued for an enlarged definition of scholarly work. In particular, he highlighted efforts by faculty members involved in the scholarship of outreach and engagement to include the scholarship of integration, application, and teaching. One of the hallmarks of programs delivered through Land Grant University Extension programs is the promise of research-based programs both in terms of program content and delivery methods. Incumbent upon all extension educators is the requirement of knowing the research base of a program, and implementing the program in a way that builds on the best known practices of the day. Beyond knowing and applying knowledge, extension faculty members also contribute to the growth of the field through systematic evaluation of the program’s implementation and impact, and sharing results with peers, thus contributing to the knowledge base of best program practices.

The Participatory Evaluation with Youth for Community Action program is a model of the type of scholarship advocated by Boyer. The program integrates current knowledge in youth engagement theory and practice by intentionally combining the critical elements of participatory evaluation, positive youth development, and youth-adult partnerships resulting in application that informs future practice. Several key contributions of this application are highlighted below.

Participatory Evaluation and Community Engagement. One of the unique aspects of the Participatory Evaluation with Youth for Community Action program is the opportunity to build skills in evaluation and research in a manner that is embedded in youths’ own environments and communities. The skills of social inquiry, and the accompanying ability to gather, analyze, synthesize, and share data, are highly valued skills in the contemporary work environment and transferable to different career settings. Our program provides an opportunity for youth and adults to research, discuss, and evaluate real concerns that matter to them and their community and create an action plan for change.

This results in the empowerment of youth in their natural community settings, allowing for the youth to experience the transformative power of community engagement. Holding a forum in their community and creating a finite timeline for their project make the program participation practical for youth and adults and alleviate some of the pitfalls some youth engagement programs encounter.

Seeing Community Engagement as a Positive Youth Development Strategy. Positive youth development theory asserts that all youth have the capacity to change and grow as they interact with their communities (Benson, Scales, Hamilton, and Sesma, 2006). In addition, community engagement is endorsed as a vehicle for actualization of the five C’s in youth (Balsano, 2005). Even so, such development does not always occur spontaneously, but requires deliberate and intentional strategies of engagement. Developmentally, teens are negotiating their independence. Consequently, programs need to be aware of such growth in autonomy and use this as an asset to strengthen programs with youth. Programs also need to capitalize on teen’s existing social structures while at the same time connecting them to society in order to provide youth with a greater sense of belonging within their communities. The Participatory Evaluation with Youth for Community Action program encourages youth engagement and action within the community, leading to positive youth development and the ultimate goal of lifelong contribution to others.

Youth-Adult Partnerships and Community Engagement. Youth engagement thrives when there are successful partnerships between youth and adults. Teens need adults who inspire and support them. The participatory evaluation/community action model for youth-adult partnerships incorporates youth and adults through every stage of the program (e.g., attending the training, planning and hosting a community forum, and implementing a community action project). Successful youth build links across families, schools, peers, and communities that in turn support their pathways.


Youth Engagement: A New Vision

By combining the best elements of quality youth engagement practices, we can envisage a brighter future around the boardroom table. Imagine now a boardroom meeting that has been planned in partnership among youth and adult board members, where deliberate efforts have been made to train the youth and adults on how to work together effectively. Instead of sitting quietly to the side, youth members co-lead the meeting, providing frequent and thoughtful contributions to the conversation. The agenda for the meeting itself has been established through an assessment of community needs and interests, and has at least a partial focus on community engagement. As a result, youth are propelled further down path of positive development, supported by the adults and communities that believe in them, gaining confidence and competence, and developing a lasting commitment to the value of community engagement.



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About the Authors

Mary E. Arnold is associate professor and youth development specialist at Oregon State University, where Brooke Dolenc is a graduate student in human development and family sciences, and Elissa E. Wells is assistant professor and 4-H youth development faculty at Coose County Extension. Arnold can be reached at

Establishing and Evaluating Equitable Partnerships

James E. McLean and Bruce A. Behringer

In a true partnership each party contributes to the partnership and receives benefit from it. Partnership equity models that draw on social science, business, and community development theory can help partners understand their commitments and evaluate the results.



In this paper, the authors present two models for establishing and evaluating partnerships. They also provide a working definition of a partnership, propose strategies for identifying resources for starting and maintaining partnerships, and provide several methods for evaluating them. Their purpose is to increase understanding of the dynamics of building stronger, more equity-based partnerships. Models recommended are the Give-Get and Double Rainbow.



It is customary to label most cooperative ventures as partnerships. But a true partnership is one in which each party contributes (or gives) to the partnership and receives (or gets) benefits from it. Behringer and McLean (2002) described this requirement in detail. King, Williams, Howard, Proffitt, Belcher, and McLean (2004) illustrated an application of it in a group of community projects. The model, which can explain many of the key elements of a partnership, evolved from early program efforts to describe both university and rural community expectations and contributions at East Tennessee State University. A planning grid from the ETSU Health Professions Education Program was used to explain curricular change and community benefits that occur simultaneously through joint project activities. Its matrix form provides a simple visual depiction on a single page. The grid (see Figure 1) was adopted as a required part of the small grant application packet to document partnership planning.

The Give-Get Model draws upon social psychology, business practice, and community development theories to assist in program and community partnership development. To be effective, partnerships require extensive involvement by both parties. This involvement both recognizes and legitimizes the process and an organizational framework created for that involvement. In the “Ladder of Citizen Participation,” Arnstein (1969) framed community participation from experiences with the Office of Economic Opportunity, defining partnerships and their operational differences within a continuum of manipulation-empowerment and emphasizing institutional beliefs and values to create positive symbiotic relationships with their surrounding community. In DePree’s Leadership Is An Art (1989), meaningful, challenging, and inclusive approaches to organizational development and leadership were explored that underscored the importance of valuing participation, inter-organizational relationships, and the resulting contributions. Kretzmann and McKnight (1993) described an approach to viewing communities in light of the assets they can contribute toward change, not just the social problems that they confront. The ethic of community partnerships, as formulated by the Kellogg Foundation (Richards, 1996), extended this approach to increase the perception of value in community as a contributor, not just as a site, for higher education through community-based and interdisciplinary experiential learning.

The Give-Get Grid developed at ETSU extended these approaches by valuing community-identified issues and opportunities (needs, problems) as contributions to the educational process and as benefits to faculty and students as real world educational opportunities. Adopting a community issue or opportunity often meant bringing together disciplines and departments not accustomed to working together, resulting in new configurations and renewed faculty involvement with communities.

Collaborative planning is necessary to complete the Give-Get Grid as part of the small grant program. This approach was based on social exchange theory and negotiations practice. Blau (1964) identified social exchange as a process of tapping social and work networks to define common interests. Each partner needed to define its interests (Fisher and Ury, 1991) and identify why it sought to engage in a project, thus defining its expectations (“gets”). While access to a Kellogg grant stimulated interest, the programs soon took on a life of their own. As negotiations proceeded, each party identified additional potential resources that they could contribute and the value to them of the other partner’s contributions. For example, the university valued old community stories as a resource in the development of a theatrical production that highlighted the potential value of the “gives” by rural residents. Likewise, community residents saw the presence of university students in their towns as a potential encouragement for rural students to consider post-secondary education. These examples of direct and spillover elements exemplify how one party’s “gives” begin to match the other party’s “gets.” Over time, the Give-Get Grid Model helped all to understand the need theory of negotiation (Nierenberg, 1981) based upon common interests rather than the traditional “win-lose” approaches that characterize many town-gown relationships. By emphasizing contributions as well as benefits to each partner, the model proves superior to traditional “win-win” thinking (Covey, 1989).

It is easily seen how this model can be extended to the school-university partnership. First, it can provide a framework for defining the partnership and clarify to both partners what they can expect to contribute to the partnership and how they can expect to benefit. Second, it can provide the framework for evaluating the partnership in both formative and summative ways.

Figure 2 provides a very simple illustration of the Give-Get Grid Model applied to a university-school partnership. While it only provides summary information, an actual Give-Get chart would provide the information in much more detail. A good illustration of this can be found in King et al. (2004, pp. 80-81). Figure 2 does illustrate how the Give-Get Grid Model is an excellent planning tool for developing a university-school partnership by allowing each partner to know what it will contribute to and receive from the partnership. While the Give-Get Grid Model was developed originally as a planning tool, it can also provide the basis for evaluating the partnership.

Building Partnerships

While the Give-Get Grid Model is an excellent planning tool, planners also will find it instructive to consult the Double Rainbow Model (see Figure 3). Any university-school partnership should be based upon the belief that the partnership can provide mutually beneficial relationships between higher education and the school. While the Give-Get Grid Model is a method for identifying the benefits and contributions of each partner, it is also very important that both partners understand the specific audiences and stakeholders of the partnership. This would include all parties that might be affected by the partnership. This concept can be elaborated using the Double Rainbow Model. This model recognizes that each partner in negotiations is not monolithic but instead includes complex social and work networks. Based upon the Units of Solution Theory (Steuart, 1993), benefits of partnership projects could be defined to include individuals, families, groups, and community beneficiaries to each partner. This approach created the mirror image displayed as concentric layers in the community and university that provides an illustration of the various beneficiaries of the partnership in a hierarchical fashion. This depiction of the constituencies in each partnership displayed in a hierarchical fashion is called the Double Rainbow Model. It can be used as a technique to determine the impacts of a partnership on both partners as well as a tool to identify environmental influences of the partnership. Figure 3 provides an illustration of this for a university-school partnership.

The primary beneficiaries at the university were university students preparing to become teachers, as the partnership would provide them with a clinical site to develop their teaching skills. For the school, their students would be the ultimate beneficiaries of the partnership as it would result in their improved achievement. The next level of impact would be on the university faculty who would benefit by having access to a teaching and research laboratory and the school faculty who would have access to expertise and support of university faculty including the latest best-practice research. The next level of impact would be the college and university and the school and school system. These institutions would benefit from improved efficiency and the ability to draw on each other’s expertise. It is interesting that in a university-school partnership of this type, the next level of impact would be the same for both the university and school — the community and state.

From the university’s perspective, the community and state would benefit by the increased exposure and the ability to graduate better prepared teachers. From the schools’ perspective, the community and state would benefit from the improved achievement of their students. Discussions using the Double Rainbow Model also enabled partners to identify unintended consequences of projects. The model can be particularly helpful in identifying potential sources of information useful in evaluation.

Identifying the benefits and contributions as well as the stakeholders of a partnership does not ensure its success. King et al. (2004) identified a number of practices that improve the likelihood that a partnership will be successful. Below is a list of some of these practices that could focus on university-school partnerships:

1. More than anything else, partnerships thrive on personal connections. The personal relationships that develop between university and school probably have more impact on the continuation of a partnership than any other factor.

2. The traditional flow of information from university to school needs to become bidirectional. That is, university faculty must accept that the partnership is a two-way street with their gaining from the practical situation they would find in a school.

3. Full participation by both partners in the planning and implementation is crucial to a successful partnership. Buy-in depends on both partners providing input to the planning and implementation of the partnership.

4. The personal connections noted in Item 1 are built by working together on all phases of the partnership.

5. Even if both parties participate in developing the Give-Get Grid and the Double Rainbow models, unexpected outcomes will result from the partnership. That is, both parties will end up giving more and getting more than they identified in the planning stage. The relationship must be strong to deal with these unintended consequences.

6. Partnerships can learn from each other. That is, if there are partnerships between the university and more than one school, there are advantages to sharing those benefits.

7. The longer a partnership operates the more benefits will come from it.

8. Successful partnerships will breed successful partnerships. A successful partnership between two parties in one area will often result in partnerships to solve problems in other areas. Additional partners may also become involved and contribute.

9. Communication and personal interaction overcome barriers. This takes us back to the first item. The success of a partnership depends upon open communication and personal interaction.

While the two models that have been presented and the operating principles help to build and maintain a partnership, the process is not without its challenges.


Challenges in Partnership Formation

The two models described above represent tools that were used in planning and initiating a number of collaborative community-university partnership projects. The models also became helpful in formative and summative evaluation of the overall program. Community and faculty partners identified several thematic challenges in the partnering process that were both defined and facilitated when using the models.

• Community-based learning challenged faculty members to modify teaching and learning methods for course-based learning objectives. This change was a required educational contribution to the partnership, and it enabled greater graduates’ satisfaction with their educational preparation, especially in self-confidence, public speaking, and the ability to design and implement community-based nutrition programs (Marks, Nelson, Burnham, Coates, Duncan, Lowe, Lowery, and Seier, 2004).

• Faculty members were challenged to prove the academic rigor of community-based learning. Because assignments were no longer an academic exercise but rather were founded on meeting real needs of community members, student performance was evaluated by peers and community members as well as by professors. Academic peers unfamiliar with community-based learning questioned educational outcomes.

• Community members reported “attitude is all-important.” Rural communities watch for real demonstrations of sustained interest. This occurred when faculty interest reached beyond the prescribed project activities. As one leader said, “I knew things had changed when … the relationship went beyond sharing their ice cream cone (Kellogg grant monies) to really discussing hard issues that we in communities have to deal with daily” (King et al., pp. 78-79).

• Both community and university partners tended to underestimate project contributions (“gives”) and benefits (“gets”). The authors compared the Give-Get Grids submitted by a sample of projects in their applications for resources with post-project Give-Get Grids and found that the average number of University “gives” increased from 4.3 to 6.8 and University “gets” from 5.0 to 6.9. Community “gives” remained similar at 5.0 and 4.8 but community “gets” increased from 4.8 to 7.3. While this was not a difficulty but rather a pleasant surprise for those partners who did engage in projects, the underestimation represents a potential barrier for others who may consider participation.

• Community leaders found introducing university involvement in their issues only made sense as an equal partnership. University contributions enabled reframing local issues in new ways and the partnership enabled the community to address issues that it could not accomplish by itself. The partnership became a way to involve the whole community in a project (Proffitt, 2000, March).


Evaluating Partnerships

Once partnerships have been established, they will not last unless it can be shown that they are successful. Thus, an effective evaluation process is important. Evaluation has two primary functions. First, an effective evaluation provides timely information to improve a partnership as it is being implemented. Second, evaluation can document the success of a partnership.

The evaluation of the partnership can draw heavily from the Give-Get and Double Rainbow models described in this paper. In fact, these models can form the basis of the evaluation of the partnerships. However, the evaluation must include other criteria. In the age of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, one very important criterion is equity. Is the partnership equitable not only to both partners, but also to all stakeholders of both partners? It is easy to see how the Give-Get Model can be used to identify the inputs and outcomes important to the partnership. It is also easy to see how the Double Rainbow Model can be used to identify the various stakeholders in the partnership. Another problem is to determine what criteria would be used to evaluate equity. Equity, like partnership, has many definitions. We recommend the definition developed by Lawrence Lezotte in the 1970s. An illustration and description can be found in Lezotte, 1984.

His essential contribution is that achieving equity requires more than merely equal access. Specifically, Lezotte suggests that you must have equal access, participation, and outcomes to achieve equity. That is, entry into any program must be equitable. This can be evaluated by examining the levels of participation in the program by various subgroups. Finally, the various subgroups must demonstrate equal outcomes. This concept was written into federal law with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Lezotte’s concept of equity has been applied in a number of situations. It was the basis of an equity evaluation study (Brookover and McLean, 1983) of Mobile County, Alabama, schools commissioned by a federal court (also described in a conference paper by McLean, Davis, and Brookover, 1983). Davis, McLean, Brookover, and Davis (1986) applied this definition to an evaluation of digital equity for students at the dawn of the digital age.



This research presents two models for defining and implementing university-school partnerships as well as a number of suggestions for making these partnerships successful. In addition, a set of criteria are provided for evaluating partnerships. The Give-Get Grid is an excellent model for two prospective partners to negotiate a partnership. The Double Rainbow model provides a systematic method for determining what individuals and groups a project will impact for both partners and how these stakeholders relate. Preliminary applications of the models suggest that they can facilitate both the implementation of the model and help in the evaluation. For example, these models can be used to determine the expected outcomes of a partnership and the constituency groups or stakeholders that it might impact. Finally, the equity of a partnership can be assessed by considering the participants’ access to the program, varying rates of participation by subgroups, and the outcomes by subgroup. While the results presented here are preliminary, the models have the potential to help move engagement scholarship to a new level.



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About the Authors

James E. McClean is dean of the College of Education at The University of Alabama and Bruce A. Behringer is assistant vice president, Division of Health Sciences, and executive director, Office of Rural and Community Health and Community Partnerships, at East Tennessee State University. McLean can be reached at


The Challenge of Censored Participants in Community-Based Research

Janine E. Janosky, Qing Sun, Susan B. Laird, and Anna Kostura

Recruiting minorities is critical to the accuracy of clinical research. Sex, age, season, time of day of appointment, and lapsed time between registration and scheduled attendance are among factors influencing whether those who register to participate keep their appointment.



Overcoming barriers is essential to get more members of underserved populations to participate in clinical research. Adjusting recruitment procedures to fit the lifestyles and routines of the targeted participants is recommended to achieve the goals of Healthy People 2010 and 2020. There is a paucity of research regarding factors that contribute to whether participants follow through after registration. In two community-based prevention education programs for minority women and men, a research team identified some of the factors affecting participation. Individuals were more likely to attend a program after registering for it based on a mix of personal and program variables.

Recruiting and retaining participants from underserved populations for clinical research is a challenge. Yet, overcoming these barriers is essential to reducing health disparities in these communities, with the ultimate goal of achieving Healthy People 2010 (United States Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.) and 2020 (United States Department of Health and Human Services, n.d.) objectives. There is little research on the factors that influence whether individuals actually follow through as a participant after they have agreed to participate in a research study. In an extensive review of minority recruitment and retention, Yancey et al. (2006) reported factors that appear to influence the barriers. These included community involvement, incentives and logistical issues, type of study design, and passive versus active recruitment strategies. Passive strategies are the traditional means of recruiting. Examples are print and television ads, which require individuals to contact the research staff. Active strategies are those in which the staff goes directly to the community or contacts individuals through the mail or by telephone. These strategies depend more on community relationship building,

While the number of studies on recruitment and retention of minorities for research is increasing, the literature is still sparse regarding why participants do not appear for their scheduled research appointments. There is some evidence that missed primary-care appointments result from such things as forgetfulness (Martin, Perfect, and Mantle, 2005; Hussain-Gambles, Neal, Dempsey, Lawlor, and Hodgson, 2004; Neal, Hussain-Gambles, Allgar, Lawlor, and Dempsey, 2005), inconvenient appointment time (Neal, Hussain-Gambles, Allgar, Lawlor, and Dempsey, 2005), mistrust (Neal, Hussain-Gambles, Allgar, Lawlor, and Dempsey, 2005), or lack of satisfaction with office staff (Yancey, Ortega, and Kumanyila, 2006; Lacy, Paulman, Reuter, and Lovejoy, 2004). There are fewer studies that examine demographic variables correlated with missed primary-care appointments. The results of such studies include younger age (Weingarter, Meyer, and Schneid, 1997; Cashman, Savageau, and Lemay, 2004; Lasser, Mintzer, Lambert, Cabral, and Bor, 2005; Waller and Hodgkin, 2000; Neal, Lawlor, Allgar et al., 2001), being female (Neal, Lawlor, Allgar et al., 2001), and being African-American (Lasser, Mintzer, Lambert, Cabral, and Bor, 2005). Distance between the site of care and the patient’s home may be a significant factor in determining whether the patient keeps his or her appointment; however, results of these studies have been inconsistent (Cashman, Savageau, and Lemay, 2004). Moreover, these findings regarding missed primary-care appointments may not be generalizable to missed appointments for research studies.

Several strategies to increase recruitment and retention of minorities into clinical research have been proposed (Janosky, Kohley, Sciullo, et al., 2006; Janosky, Laird, and Sun, 2008; Davis, Bustamante, Brown, et al., 1994; Sadler, Peterson, Wasserman, et al, 2005). A number have been implemented by The Center for Primary Care Community-Based Research (CPCR) at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. (Janosky, Kohley, Sciullo, et al., 2006). Specific strategies include partnerships with community and religious leaders, partnering with Commonwealth of Pennsylvania state health improvement project teams, recruiting directly in the community (health fairs, farmers markets, and community events), and more traditional or passive strategies such as television and print media. The costs associated with these various strategies are reported elsewhere (Janosky, Laird, Kohley, et al., 2008). Additional implementation strategies that CPCR has utilized include reminder phone calls, “sorry we missed you” letters sent subsequent to a missed research appointment, and providing a menu of available dates and locations for education sessions in an effort to make dates/times more convenient. The issue of participants’ missing or not following through on scheduled research appointments has the potential to directly impact the conduct and cost of the research.

The overall objective of this investigation was to describe the factors that contribute to participation versus censored participants in two community-based education programs. One program was designed to reduce cardiovascular disease in minority women, and the other addressed stroke and prostate cancer in minority men. Censored participants were defined as those who self-registered and consented to attend a specific self-selected community-based education program but failed to follow through. Participants who rescheduled their attendance in advance of the scheduled session were not considered as censored. Data were derived from intake forms that indicated date and time an individual registered for an educational program, referral source, where a session was being held (in the community or on a university campus), demographic information (address, sex, age), and project data indicating whether individuals who registered actually participated.



Our team collected data during the recruitment phase for the two studies: “Minority Women’s Heart Initiative,” funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration; and “Innovative Strategies in Reducing Stroke and Prostate Cancer in African-American Men,” funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Both were community-based prevention and care education programs for men 35 and older and for women 25-75. The “Innovative Strategies” study utilized a community-based intervention that attempted to remove barriers to patient education with regard to stroke and prostate cancer prevention and to foster compliance with prevention and treatment activities.

The purpose of the minority women study was to identify and monitor a cohort of women at risk for cardiovascular disease, with a special emphasis on including women who identified as African-American, and to educate the community regarding prevention of cardiovascular disease. Both studies were under the direction of the primary author. The research was conducted through CCPR (Janosky, Laird, and Sun, 2008; Janosky, Laird, Kohley, et al., 2008).

Data from intake forms indicated date and time an individual initially registered for an educational session, referral source, where the session was being held (in the community or on campus), and demographic information (address, sex, age). Additional data available through CPCR records indicated the date and time the educational session was held, which participants attended the 90-minute session, lapse of time in days from registration to initial date of the session, and distance (calculated from zip codes) in miles from the registrant’s home to the site of the program.

Programs were scheduled in conference centers on the University of Pittsburgh campus and in the community at houses of worship, community centers, and the like. Separate sessions were scheduled for men and women according to each study’s protocol in each season of the year. Dates and times varied to allow the most flexibility for participants (midday, evening, weekends, etc.).



Distance from the participant’s home to the site where the research session was held, lapse of time between scheduling and participation, age of participant, season, starting time (before or after 5 p.m.), where the program was held (university or community), and referral source were all used as possible predictors of attendance. For comparisons between groups, chi-square analyses were used for categorical variables, and independent t-tests or two-way ANOVA was used for continuous variables. For the examination of concomitant effects, where suitable, either a linear regression or a logistic regression was used. Though statistical significance was defined as p < .05, actual significance levels are presented for other cutpoints.

We collected data from August 2005 until July 2006. A total of 872 individuals registered for both studies; 375 (43.0%) subsequently participated in the respective studies (27.5% men and 49.5% women).

Table 1 presents a summary of the results for those who attended and those who did not attend by the aforementioned predictors. Table 2 presents a summary of the results by sex and attendance status for the predictors of interest.

The mean age was 47 years (sd = 10.4). The mean age of those who attended (46.05) and those who did not attend (49.14) was statistically significant (p < .001). The men’s study of prostate cancer and stroke required that participants be 35 or older, while the women’s study of cardiovascular disease included those 25 to 75. Nonetheless, the differences reported here between the ages of attendees did not seem to be substantially influenced by this criterion. There were, however, significant differences between men and women. Registered men attended at the rate of 27.5%, and registered women attended at the rate of 49.5% (p < .001).

Table 1 also shows a statistically significant difference for attendance by season of the year (p = .005), where the session was held (p < .001), how the participant heard about the study (p < .001), time of session (p = .03), proximity to site (p < .001), lapse of time in days (p < .001), and age (p < .001). Our findings suggest participants are more likely to attend in the winter and spring, if the session is held in the community rather than on campus, and if the session is held before 5 p.m.

Table 2 shows the findings for each of the predictors by attendance status and sex. For those attending, season of session (p < .001), day of session (p = .001), where the session is held (p = .03), and how the participant heard about the study (p = .037) all differed for men and women. The attendance rate for women was higher when the session was held on a weekday; however, men were more likely to attend on the weekend. Women attended more in the winter and spring, while men were more likely to attend sessions in the summer or fall.

Women were more likely to attend a program if it was held within 14 days of their registration. Men, on the other hand, were more likely to participate if the program was held within 19 days of registration (p < .001).

Individuals were more likely to attend if the program was in the spring and winter than in the summer or fall (p = .021), and were more likely to attend a program held in the community (p < .001) than at a university site. Season made no difference (p = .361) for those who did not attend. Men were more likely to attend if the session was within 4.8 miles of their home zip code, and women within 5.2 miles (p < .001).

A binary logistic regression was performed with predictors that were statistically significant from the univariate comparison including where the program was held, how the participant heard about the study, season of the year, lapse of time from registering to participating, and age of the participant. The overall correct predicted percentage was 74.0%, and the cut value is .460. Significant predictors included the site of the session (p < .001) and how participants heard about the study (p = .001), driven specifically by television (p = .007), age (p < .001), season (p = .005) and lapse of time (p = .006) (Table 3).


These findings add to our understanding of what works in recruiting minorities into research studies. Scheduling programs in the community during the winter and spring and in the evening increases the probability that those who register for a study will subsequently participate. There were significant differences in attendance with respect to sex. Other predictors include how the participants heard about the study, age, and time lapse between registration and scheduled attendance. The reader is cautioned against generalizing these findings to other populations and settings for the following reasons:

1. Other minority groups might not respond in the same way as our participants, all self-identified as minority and/or African-American.

2. Recruiting for purposes other than a community-based prevention and care educational program result in difference rates.

3. A different conclusion might be reached if a broadened definition of censoring is used; the definition of censored used here was nonattendance at the scheduled and consented education session.

4. Generalizability to other climates might be limited since the study was conducted in Pittsburgh, which has four distinct seasons.

There has been a wealth of research on minority participation in research, including influences and barriers. However, unlike missed primary care appointments, there has been little research into missed research appointments by minority participants. Woolf et al. (2000) investigated the differences between office-based patients who consent to be surveyed at home and have their records reviewed and patients who do not consent. This study indicated that patients who consented to have their records reviewed were older, included fewer women and African-Americans, and reported poorer physical function than those who did not give consent. Through the use of multivariate analysis, older age, male sex, and lower functional status were significant predictors of giving consent.

Similarly, the current study highlights differences between research participants who register for a study and subsequently attend or do not attend, with the latter considered as censored here. Differences between our study and that of Woolf et al., include a differing rationale, different modes of invitation to prospective participants, profiles of possible participants, and other variables.

Our study adds to the understanding of some of the influences, limitations, and obstacles to minorities actually following through with research appointments once they have registered. Not only must researchers consider what brings minority participants to the door of interest and registration for research studies, but they must also consider what will facilitate their full participation and completion of a study. Ushering minority participants to and through the front door for participation in research is not enough. Important factors to consider and master to have minority participants register and successfully complete a research study include: (1) types of locations where they will most likely participate and follow through; (2) season of year and time of day that is most convenient; (3) proximity of the research site to the participant’s home; and (4) lapse of time between registration and study visit. Knowing these factors prior to initiation of a study will give researchers a better chance of meeting their goals.

Identifying and negotiating the factors found to be significant are part of the fabric and crux of community-based research. Research is not simply about the achievement of clinical or epidemiological goals, but for maximum success and participation, we must achieve these goals in harmony with participants’ lifestyles, environments, and desires.

Further research in this and related areas is needed to specify additional challenges to the successful recruitment and retention of minority participants in research. Navigating these challenges will be crucial to eliminating disparities and achieving the goals of Healthy People 2010 and 2020.



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About the Authors

Janine E. Janosky is vice provost for research and professor of mathematics at Central Michigan University. Qing Sun, Susan B. Laird, and Anna Kostura are all graduate assistants at the University of Pittsburgh. Janosky may be reached at


Authors’ Note

This study was completed while Janosky was executive director of the Center for Primary Care Community-Based Research at the University of Pittsburgh. The authors acknowledge the contributions of the center’s staff. The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Health Resources and Services Administration funded the research.

Research form the field

In planning JCES, the editors and editorial board wanted to include research from the field. We believed it would become one of the best read sections in the journal. We had all heard, or said ourselves: “I’ve got all this good stuff I’d like to share with others, but where can I publish it?” You can send it to JCES’ Research from the Field. We begin with two reports from University of Alabama scholars. We start locally only because our scholars knew about the section. Now that you know, we hope you will write up your field research and send it in. And spread the word.

RESEARCH AND PRACTICE: Developing Contemporary Engineering Skills Through Service Learning in Peru

Pauline Doherty Johnson, Philip Webb Johnson, and Noam Shaney



International service learning at The University of Alabama engages students in leadership and teaming roles. In Peru, students practiced skills that meet challenges of engineering in a global society and demonstrate accreditation learning outcomes not easily taught in traditional classrooms. Students in settings like this also get first-hand experience in what engineering is ultimately about: building things that make people’s lives better. Assessing the experience in a post-trip survey, students rated teaming lessons, communications, and experiential learning skills as particular strengths.



Rapid globalization across many fields is causing dramatic changes in the engineering profession, influencing the manner in which products are invented, designed, and manufactured (Polczynski, 2006). Outsourcing engineering services to developing countries is now commonplace. However, data from the Institute of International Education (2006) shows that, among the students going abroad on international educational experiences, engineering ranks in the bottom three disciplines. The synchronization of engineering education outcomes with the profession’s evolution is critical if graduates are to be successful on a global stage.

Updated standards for engineering degree programs reflect this need by expanding the traditional toolbox of engineering technical skills to include soft-skill proficiencies. Specifically, “an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams … design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, and sustainability … and the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context” are current ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, 2000) outcome criteria.

It is a difficult challenge to implement these soft-skill experiences in a meaningful way in the classroom in a curriculum that is already full. The international engineering service learning experience provides an excellent opportunity to develop these skills and prepare students for the challenges of modern engineering.


International Service Learning Benefits

International service learning can have a profound effect on students, faculty, and those with whom they collaborate, with spillover effects for faculty recruiters, advisers, peers, and their home institutions. Furthermore, a proportionally higher number of women and honors students participate in service engagement than are represented in the general engineering student body. The benefits of global experiences for students include development of leadership, teaming, management, communication, and cross-cultural skills; flexibility, adaptability, maturity, independence, and the ability to analyze, adjust to, and appreciate local customs and cultural contexts; and the acquisition of a global perspective, appreciation of the societal implication of their work, and the satisfaction of working with a client to take an international community project from conception and planning through installation. Experience abroad forces students to deal constructively with cultural differences and situations they would not otherwise face.

UA engineering students discuss drinking water problems with a village leader in El Chino, Peru.


The International Engineering Service Learning Program at The University of Alabama was established to incorporate these opportunities for growth into the student learning experience to prepare students for the challenges of the modern engineering profession. It does this by getting students ready to serve as effective, en gaged, and ethical professionals by promoting and supporting student engagement in meaningful service for academic credit through two University of Alabama centers, the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility and the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. These centers provide administrative and seed-funding support to promote student engagement in service learning.

The engineering service experience in Peru was structured within the Engineers Without Borders™ model. This program integrates interdisciplinary engineering service learning with community partners, practitioner oversight, and faculty mentoring.

Strong collaborations were established with Peruvian partners from Nature and Culture International and Programa de Conservation y Uso Sostensible de la Diversidad Biologica (Program for Sustainable Use and Conservation of Biological Diversity) in Iquitos, Peru. They provided logistical assistance and community liaison. In addition the local engineering college at Universidad Particular De Iquitos (University of Iquitos), gave us access to field equipment and joined our students and faculty on field testing, surveys, group discussions, shopping for supplies for our upstream village projects, and evening social outings.

Our target communities were five remote Amazonian villages accessible only by boat from the city of Iquitos in the Amazon Jungle of Peru. Iquitos is the largest city in the world with no access by road. Student-generated service project ideas were developed from conversations with the community during an initial survey trip. This was followed up by two campus-based design projects. A capstone senior design team designed an observation tower to attract ecotourism dollars, and an independent study technical elective student designed a primitive wastewater latrina (latrine) system. Two project installation trips to Peru followed. Projects resulting from this collaboration include soil, water percolation, and topographic surveys, a generator installation to hook up village lights, latrine installation, and most recently the installation of 18 solar panels in three villages. Successive groups are attempting to build upon previous learning. Future teams will construct two rainforest observation towers in sensitive bio-diverse habitats as part of a wider effort to develop sustainable local income from ecotourism in order to prevent deforestation for subsistence agriculture.

University of Alabama engineering professors Pauline Johnson (second row, fourth from left) and Philip Johnson (third row, third from left, in the Indiana Jones hat) gathered students and villagers for this photo in Chino, Peru, three hours from Iquitos by fast boat. Iquitos is the largest city in the world without access by road. Co-author and community partner Noam Shaney, director of Nature and Culture International, is on the second row, third from left, next to Pauline.


Elements of the program include revolving leadership and multi-disciplinary teaming roles in satisfying pre-, peri-, and post-trip project deliverables. Students are required to incorporate into the project realistic limitations such as technical, economic, environmental, cultural, ethical, social, and sustainability constraints, together with on site procurement, project management, and implementation. Reflection through daily journal entries and evening project meetings reinforced experiential learning. Course outcomes and experiences were evaluated through an end-of-trip report and assessment survey.


Assessment of Learning Outside the (Classroom) Box

Twenty-six students have participated in three Peru trips to date. Pre-2008 students completed standard University of Alabama course evaluations that were largely useless for this type of learning experience; however, the open-ended comments solicited by faculty as feedback proved insightful and useful in planning subsequent trips. The five students on the 2008 solar panels installation trip participated in a formal post-trip assessment. Students scored elements of the experience using a five-point evaluation scale on 12 course elements that included ABET outcomes. In addition, the students were asked four open-ended questions that allowed for qualitative assessments and additional comments (Table 1).

The average score of 4.8 is quite high, indicating strong agreement that the course was a valuable learning experience. Among the outcomes that serve as an assessment basis for engineering accreditation, students agreed strongly that it was an effective learning experience with regard to communication, learning outside the classroom, teaming, and assessment of societal impacts. They agreed, but not as strongly, that it was a valuable learning experience regarding leadership.

In the qualitative section of the survey, students were asked to identify five areas of learning not found in a traditional classroom. They were also asked about challenges, unexpected events, and personal growth. Five students provided eight responses each for a total of 40 comments.

Of these responses, seven dealt with communications, particularly the challenges and successes with technical communications given limited language skills and non-technical clients. Example: “The form of communication didn’t matter as long as the ideas were able to cross the language barrier.” Five more responses dealt with cultural issues. Example: “Developing countries don’t really run on a schedule, but still manage to get things done.” Four responses addressed positive aspects of teaming. Examples: “Being an effective supportive member of a group.” “The area in which I grew most was working as part of a team and communicating effectively.” Three more dealt with ingenuity. Examples: “I learned to look for alternative and nontraditional methods to accomplish tasks.” “How to make things work with what you have.” “About solar panels and how to install them.”

Others addressed leadership, coping, personal growth, and the value of international travel. Examples: “Helped reinforce leadership skills.” “I could make it without everyday luxuries like electricity and toilets.” “If I push myself I can do things I never imagined.” “I grew most in the knowledge of international traveling. Even though I had been overseas before, this trip was a much better experience. We were given more responsibilities … . I was happy to grow in this area because of my very big interest in traveling and seeing the world.”

While the number of students evaluating their experience is low, their assessment is consistent with feedback the instructors have received over and over again following similar service learning trips.

Learning outside the classroom box is the “real deal,” our students continually tell us. And teaching outside that box has similar rewards for faculty.

Future assessments will include a pre-trip evaluation to better measure learning outcomes. A question will also be added to solicit suggestions for future trips rather than leave this as an implied question under “other comments,” though when asked if they would recommend this trip to others, three gave it a 5 (strongly agree), one a 10, and one “5 x 1000!”


Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). (1998). “Criteria for Accrediting Engineering programs,” Engineering Accreditation Commission, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Baltimore, MD.

Institute of International Education. (2006). Open Doors 2006: Report on international educational exchange, 2003-04 2004-05.

Polczynski, M. 2006. National collegiate inventors and innovators alliance, 243-256.


About the Authors

Pauline Johnson and Philip Johnson are associate professors in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at The University of Alabama. Noam Shaney is director, Peru Program, Conservation and Culture International. Pauline Johnson can be reached at

RESEARCH AND PRACTICE: Forming a Rural Health Partnership Network

Karl Hamner, Paul Kennedy, and Tim Wolfe



Walker County, Alabama, population 70,713, typifies health challenges in rural America. The county is poor with per capita income $10,000 below the national average. It lacks an adequate health care infrastructure — 4 physicians per 10,000 population compared to 7 nationally. The county has severe chronic health problems. For example, there are 67 heart failure deaths per 10,000 population compared to 20 nationally (Alabama Community Health Resource Guide, 2008). There are many other similar statistics, but a new conjunction of health care providers and leaders offers promise for a united approach in Walker County.

Walker County’s health care issues are not new. They mirror those in other rural regions of the nation. Providers and community leaders have been struggling with them for decades. To improve access to and quality of chronic disease care in the county, the Walker Area Transformational Coalition for Health (WATCH 2010) was formed.

Forming rural health networks also is not new. In fact, because of its proven effectiveness (Wellever, 2001), the federal government’s Report to the Secretary (2008), recommends the practice. What is new is the breadth of WATCH 2010, made up of the county’s only hospital; a rural health clinic; a free clinic in the county seat; the regional mental health service provider; a family support service agency; the local office of the Department of Human Resources; two academic institutions (a community college and The University of Alabama); the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County; and two nonprofit foundations (a regional community foundation and the foundation for the hospital’s parent organization).

Partners were recruited to maximize the benefits of collaboration between local, regional, and state agencies, both public and private. This diversity will improve the plight of residents with chronic conditions, offering a more comprehensive approach than ever before.


The Challenges

In establishing the network, we faced a number of significant challenges. They included trust, self-interest, turf issues, inertia, and leadership. Trust was a significant roadblock to getting the network off the ground. Potential partners asked, “What’s their REAL motivation behind wanting to collaborate?” They also wondered why the federal government would give money to develop and operate rural health networks. Everyone wanted to know, “What’s the catch?” A lot of effort went into assuring members there were no hidden agendas for either the lead agencies or in the federal funding.

Another challenge was self-interest. Everyone had to address the question, “What’s in it for my agency?” This is especially critical when asking partners to contribute time, resources, or money. Leaders are still in the process of ensuring that each agency’s ability to meet its own mission is enhanced by the scope and planned activities of the network. They are being as even-handed as possible in requesting in-kind contributions to the development and operation of the network.

Two issues related to self-interest are turf issues and inertia. Perhaps the biggest barrier to forming the network is the “silo” mentality that characterizes health and social services in our nation. Federal programs are administered through separate channels. Funding streams are separate and performance and reporting requirements are widely divergent. Together these create artificial service “silos” that are often restrictive and inflexible (2008).

The result is disincentive to collaborate and coordinate services. Stemming from this is an inertia that challenges the functioning of the network. While all network entities are in some way involved in health and wellness, none has all of the components of outreach, services, or access to the public. Operating individually fosters a “not my job” mentality in which staff feel they cannot do anything about issues not within their immediate mission.

Entering into an official networking arrangement changes the service horizon, however. As a network partner, and agency and its staff are motivated and equipped to do something about these related concerns. Individual agencies are no longer a service “dead-end” for the client. Rather, each partner has become a distribution point for further services, ensuring that the client is referred to those partners and/or resources that can help with related problems.

As needs without immediate solutions develop, we are able to craft new or refined solutions. Traditional approaches to medicine do not lend themselves to partnering; rather, they tend to specialization. This network helps all components approach problems holistically, engaging the community and service recipients in ways providers cannot do independently.

Leadership is the final challenge we face, but it also has proven to be part of the answer. Networks do not form themselves. Someone has to step up and take on the initial work in convening the network. We are fortunate that three dedicated individuals decided to work together on that task. By distributing the preliminary work and responsibilities for the initial stages we ensured success by not overburdening one person.

To be the first director of the network, we identified a former mayor of Jasper (the county seat), a leader all parties trust to direct the network’s evolution.

WATCH 2010 will continue building trust and addressing issues like divergent record keeping, reporting systems, confidentiality, data security, and concerns over geographic isolation and transportation. Poverty and lack of health care are intertwined nationwide (see, for example, Poverty in America, 2007). Persons without resources cannot afford health care. This is why WATCH 2010 is exciting. It provides a unique solution to the health challenges facing rural Alabama and rural America, linking primary health care providers, social services, businesses, and educational institutions into a cohesive network that will drive efforts to reduce the burden of chronic illness, promoting wellness among underserved rural residents by eliminating some of the major obstacles.



Alabama Department of Public Health Office of Primary Care and Rural Health. (2008). The Alabama community health resource guide, 2008. Montgomery, AL.

National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services. (2008). The Report to the Secretary: Rural Health and Human Services Issue. Rockville, MD.

Poverty in America. (2007). United States Government Accountability Office. Washington, DC.

Wellever, Anthony. (2001). Shared services: The Foundation of Collaboration. Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy. Washington, DC.


About the Authors

Karl Hamner is director of scholarly affairs at the Capstone College of Nursing at The University of Alabama. Paul Kennedy is executive director of the Walker Area Community Foundation. Tim Wolfe is director of grant development and special projects at Baptist Health System in Birmingham.

Book Reviews

Heather Pleasants, book review editor

Arlene Goldbard. (2006). New Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development. Oakland, CA: New Village Press. 268 pp., $19.95 (paper). ISBN: 978-0-9766054-5-4.

Reviewed by David Kerr, Department of Media Studies, University of Botswana, Gaborone

I can imagine that New Creative Community will be a maddening book for many readers. To start with, it seems to be intended for two types of consumer: a general reader curious to know more about the topic and community arts practitioners needing to see their own profession in a broad context and perhaps also needing their flagging spirits raised. The book is neither autobiography nor history, exhaustive survey, global comparison, cultural facilitators’ manual, nor cultural theory, even though it contains elements of all of these. Artists may find the book’s emphasis on community building overly optimistic and program-focused, while sociologists and social workers may deplore the privileging of art as an agency for change. But I believe it is precisely this marginal status between many different disciplines and perspectives that make it an important text for all these categories of readers.

Goldbard’s fundamental thesis is that, at least in the United States, elitist concepts of art prevent grass roots community culture from developing an important role in negotiating social diversity. She traces the growing gulf between elite and community culture, explains how this is an indicator of submerged and potentially dangerous conflict, and offers a blueprint for supporting community culture as a way of enhancing harmonious diversity.

Goldbard is well placed to make this argument. She is a veteran of numerous community arts campaigns from the 1960s to the present, and is not afraid to give examples from her own experiences to illustrate her thesis. She rehabilitates buzz words from the 1970s such as “development,” “alternative,” “democracy,” and “community” itself. During the 1980s and 1990s these terms became somewhat debased through overuse, over-simplification, or association with partisan ideologies, but Goldbard, through her penchant for case studies and her strong historical perspective, breathes fresh life into the words. In her history of community arts in the United States, she goes back to 19th century anti-slavery movements, but she concentrates on the 1930s, Popular Front activities, artistic initiatives derived from Roosevelt’s New Deal, and alternative/minority cultural movements in the 1970s and 1980s (Chapter 5). She feels that the cold wind of privatization ushered in by Reagan’s presidency blew through the U.S. cultural landscape, affecting attitudes up to the present. This helped to impose what Goldbard calls a “standardized middle-class culture”; it led to the draining of public support of the arts from multicultural and minority programs (“betting on the underdog”) and concentrating instead on “red carpet institutions” (p. 201).

When discussing contemporary activism, Goldbard doesn’t try to formulate taxonomies of cultural movements and programs. Instead she provides a few vivid examples of significant trends. The closing of the San Antonio-based Esperanza Peace and Justice Center in 1977, for instance, illustrates the way emergent Christian fundamentalism made a successful backlash against a program supporting Hispanic and gay rights (Chapter 7). In a more recent example, Goldbard also describes the work of H2H (Holler to the Hood) in Whitesburg, Kentucky, as typical of what she calls “the new hybridity” (p. 221); its use of old-fashioned face-to-face culture (such as theater), community media (such as local radio) and global media (especially the World Wide Web) shows how 21st century groups are turning their back on low-key, ad hoc activism and taking advantage of reshifting global cultural patterns to raise their profile. Some readers familiar with the field of community arts may deplore the absence of their favorite projects, but that is inevitable in a book attempting so many theoretical goals in addition to case studies.

In fact, one attractive feature of the book is the mix between theory and practice. Goldbard is by no means shy of theory, drawing liberally from Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal, Frederick Koch, and Franz Fanon. But she is always keen to link theory with practice by providing case studies or descriptions of workshop techniques. The relationship goes both ways, as can be seen from her titles of chapters 3, 4, and 6 (“A Matrix of Practice,” “An Exemplary Tale,” and “Theory from Practice”). For readers who are unfamiliar with what community arts work is all about, Chapter 4, simply but without condescension, outlines a typical campaign from planning through implementation to action and evaluation.

Although the United States is her main focus, Goldbard is constantly aware of global trends, derived no doubt from her organization of and participation in international arts-based conferences. Running through New Creative Community is a motif based on the irony that the United States claims global, cultural hegemony through its media industries, but is under-developed in its support for homegrown, grass-roots cultural projects. Here it has much to learn from European state-subsidized arts industries, or from such Third World movements as Latin American Theatre of the Oppressed or African Theatre for Development. While cultural movements outside of the United States tend to see their work as a weapon in the struggle against cultural imperialism, Goldbard would like to link such strategies to U.S. “cultural wars” (Chapter 7).

One of the most valuable aspects of the book is the way it deals with some of the major ethical and strategic dilemmas faced by community arts practitioners. For example, in Chapter 7, Goldbard deals very sensibly with the problem of continuity of skills from one generation to another. She recognizes that practitioners from her own generation have huge reservoirs of skills to hand down to the next, but also that their guru status might stand in the way of younger artists wishing to experiment with newer media or strategies. Another dilemma that arts facilitators constantly face is the legacy of indigenous local traditions and values on subcultures seeking their identity in a complex, multicultural environment. This may lead to conflicts between such traditions and the values of the broader national culture. To what extent, for example, should an arts facilitator tolerate sexist, homophobic, or even ethnocentric attitudes simply because they are part of a minority culture’s traditional discourse? Goldbard handles this ethical minefield sensitively, summing up her argument with a quotation from Jewish theologian Mordechai Kaplan: “The past has a vote, but not a veto” (p. 152).

Probably the greatest strength of New Creative Community is found in the last two chapters (8, “The Field’s Developmental Needs,” and 9, “Planning for Community Cultural Development”). Many books on arts-related topics are strong on analysis but weak on recommendations. By contrast, Goldbard has obviously thought hard about what U.S. community arts practitioners should do to move away from the marginalization that state policies and corporate investment have created. She provides a practical road map that has arguably utopian aims but achievable, bullet-pointed objectives.

Finally, the book is reasonably priced, with relevant photographs, a very useful short glossary, and a selective, but not too academic reading list. For those readers willing to step out of conventional binaries of “art for art’s sake” at one extreme and art as a tool for social engineering at the other, Goldbard’s eclecticism should provide a stimulus for reflection on intercultural community building in a globalized world.


Eli Goldblatt. (2007). Because We Live Here: Sponsoring Literacy Beyond the College Curriculum. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. 226 pp., $23.95 (paper). ISBN: 1-57273-769-7.

Reviewed by Stephen Schneider, The University of Alabama

Eli Goldblatt describes Because We Live Here, a study of his work with Temple University’s Writing Program, as “part institutional history, part anthropological field journal, part sociological analysis, and part manifesto” (p. 8). In the pages that follow, Goldblatt provides a rigorous, honest, yet ultimately inspiring evaluation of the collaborative literacy programs he and other Temple faculty have helped establish over the past decade. Because We Live Here does not, however, focus simply on the theories and practices that led Goldblatt and the Temple Writing Program to develop the institutional and community partnerships they did; rather, it attempts to define successful community engagement as a dialogic relationship between university and community partners.

Because We Live Here is primarily an exploration of what Goldblatt defines as “writing beyond the curriculum.” This concept builds on what Goldblatt sees as the success of writing-across-the-curriculum programs, which emphasize writing as a mode of learning and communication across all disciplines. Writing beyond the curriculum links these programs to the “public turn” in composition studies, which Paula Mathieu (2005) defines as a movement to connect writing classrooms to community engagement and social justice. In this model, literacy and writing are understood not as predefined skills or abilities, but instead as the cultivation and maintenance of relationships through written texts. For Goldblatt, these relationships necessarily extend beyond the university, thereby linking literacy education and community engagement to broader issues of social justice.

In Chapter 1, Goldblatt links writing beyond the curriculum to his re-reading of Dewey’s Democracy and Education. By linking educational principles of growth and communication to questions of civic participation, Dewey provides not only a progressive educational method but also a rationale for university-community partnerships. Goldblatt emphasizes the social dimensions of Dewey’s pedagogy by emphasizing “access, reflection, and connection.” Goldblatt develops from Dewey a model for “[bringing] the margins to the center” and “[cultivating] relationships both inside and outside school to support literacy learning” (p. 15). For Goldblatt, the relationship between education and democracy is one that necessarily links universities to the communities that surround them and comprise their constituents. Nonetheless, these relationships are not always already operative, and only grow from diligent work by both teachers and administrators.

Chapters 2 and 3 examine Temple’s diverse student base, providing compelling and rich descriptions of Temple’s student demographics and transfer numbers. If Goldblatt had gone no further, he would have clearly demonstrated how much richer and more responsive our work as teachers can be when we have this kind of ethnographic understanding of our institutions. But he uses the strong transfer relationship between Temple and community colleges in the Philadelphia area to suggest the need for “deep alignment” between these various institutions (p. 96). Deep alignment goes beyond articulation agreements, which often set transfer standards and equivalencies but overlook pedagogical goals, and implies a shared curricular vision that is responsive to competing institutional mandates but remained centered on student needs. Focusing on conferences and informal collaborations between Temple, the Community College of Philadelphia, and other metropolitan institutions, Goldblatt demonstrates how deep alignment between institutional partners allowed them to address issues such as retention and six-year graduation rates.

Deep alignment further draws on Deborah Brandt’s (2001) concept of “literacy sponsorship” to articulate open, collaborative partnerships between different institutions and community organizations. Literacy sponsorship describes how institutions and individuals involved in literacy education articulate implicit yet powerful models of literacy via their policies and programs. Goldblatt’s model of deep alignment suggests that literacy education is most effective when it involves multiple stakeholders and can accommodate multiple models of literacy. To this end, Chapter 4 focuses on New City Writ ing, a Temple program that works “as a partner with local schools and neighborhood organizations” (p. 131). Much of the chapter describes NCW’s work with Proyecto sin Fronteras and The Lighthouse, Latino/a educational programs aimed at fostering community involvement. For Goldblatt, these collaborations allowed both Temple faculty and their community partners to articulate their models of literacy sponsorship and productively align their programs. University participants came to function as “knowledge activists,” providing intellectual and institutional resources to support rather than supplant community organizations’ goals (p. 141).

Perhaps the most compelling discussion for scholars focused on community engagement is Chapter 5’s focus on developing and securing grants. While Goldblatt limits his analysis to Temple’s work with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, he nonetheless describes in detail the process of developing community and foundation relationships, articulating conceptual and programmatic frameworks, and ultimately utilizing grant money. While the three programs described by Goldblatt differ in scope, they nonetheless emphasize that well-written grants can themselves be a form of community engagement.

Goldblatt details how grants were collaboratively written and funds divided between organizations, with oversight being shared by university and community partners; such partnerships become a form of social action, with universities helping community organizations reach their own goals rather than providing targets from elsewhere. This model emphasizes how literacy sponsorship, and a commitment to literacy as relationship-building, can foster community organization while still meeting the goals of writing beyond the curriculum.

Paradoxically, Goldblatt is weakest when contrasting his own model of literacy sponsorship to those of other colleges and universities. While his study of Temple is careful, nuanced, and balanced, his assessments of nonmetropolitan universities tend to be painted with a broad and unflattering brush. Large state universities, particularly land grant institutions, are compared to monocultural cornfields, prisons, and hospitals with little evidence provided to support the claim that faculty and students have little or no connection to their surroundings. Faculty at research institutions are likewise depicted as having little interest in undergraduate teaching or community engagement, and while this is no doubt true of some academics (and maybe even some institutions), it ignores successful community partnerships that faculty at nonmetropolitan schools have created.

While this assessment doesn’t weaken Goldblatt’s overall argument, it may leave some readers wondering whether programs such as New City Writing can exist outside of a metropolitan setting. Nonetheless, scholars looking to connect their research and teaching to broader communities and likeminded institutions will find in Goldblatt a source of inspiration and an instructive model. While he seldom skirts the real difficulties of forging responsive university-community partnerships, he nonetheless demonstrates that these partnerships can be truly collaborative enterprises and thereby effect real, if modest, change.



Brandt, Deborah. (2001). Literacy in American lives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mathieu, Paula. (2005). Tactics of hope: The public turn in English composition. Portsmouth: Heinemann.


Book Review Editor

Heather Pleasants, assistant professor of educational research at The University of Alabama, can be reached at


Publisher, Samory T. Pruitt
Vice President for Community Affairs
The University of Alabama

Editor, Cassandra E. Simon
The University of Alabama

Production Editor, Edward Mullins
The University of Alabama

Editorial Assistants,
Kyun Soo Kim
Grambling State University
Jessica Averitt Taylor
The University of Alabama

Editorial Intern,
Antonio Rogers
The University of Alabama



The Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship is published at The University of Alabama by the Office of Community Affairs for the advancement of engagement scholarship worldwide. To reach the staff send an e-mail to or call 205-348-8375. Permission to publish cover photo granted by Free Software Foundation. To purchase a copy of the entire journal or an individual article or to start a subscription, call, email or write Allie L.Harper, Box 870380, University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380, (205) 348-1564,

Editorial Board

Marsha H. Adams, The University of Alabama

Andrea Adolph, Kent State University

Katrice A. Albert, Louisiana State University

Theodore R. Alter, The Pennsylvania State University

Robert E. Bardon, North Carolina State University

Anna Sims Bartel, Bates College

James D. Cashman, The University of Alabama

Jeremy Cohen, The Pennsylvania State University

Jan Cohen-Cruz, Syracuse University

Richard L. Conville, University of Southern Mississippi

Susan Curtis, Purdue University

Mary Elizabeth Curtner-Smith, The University of Alabama

David J. Edelman, University of Cincinnati

Barbara Ferman, Temple University

Hiram Fitzgerald, Michigan State University

Philip A. Greasley, University of Kentucky

Lisa M. Hooper, The University of Alabama

Susan Scherffius Jakes, North Carolina State University

Philip W. Johnson, The University of Alabama

Rhoda E. Johnson, The University of Alabama

Mary Jolley, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Kimberly L. King-Jupiter, Lewis University

William S. Kisaalita, University of Georgia

J. Robert Krueger, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Jay Lamar, Auburn University

Hal A. Lawson, The University at Albany, State University of New York

Robert C. Liebman, Portland State University

Marybeth Lima, Louisiana State University

Hildy L. Miller, Portland State University

Robert L. Miller Jr., The University at Albany,

State University of New York

Mary Ann Murphy, Pace University

dt ogilvie, The State University of New Jersey

Jacob Oludoye Oluwoye, Alabama A&M University

Michael E. Orok, Alabama A&M University

Ruth Paris, Boston University

Clement Alesander Price, The State University of New Jersey

Josephine Pryce, The University of Alabama

A. Scott Reed, Oregon State University

Michael J. Rich, Emory University

Howard B. Rosing, DePaul University

Sunil Saigal, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Nick Sanyal, University of Idaho

Amilcar Shabazz, University of Massachusetts

L. Steven Smutko, North Carolina State University

Lee H. Staples, Boston University

John J. Stretch, Saint Louis University

Rahima Wade, The University of Iowa

John R. Wheat, The University of Alabama

Kim L. Wilson, Purdue University

Diane F. Witmer, California State UniversityQWasd

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