Community-Engaged Scholarship

What is community-engaged scholarship?

Community-engaged scholarship (CES) prioritizes interdisciplinary collaboration with ethical and methodologically rigorous learning and research to strengthen the capacities of the university and its community partners to work together as equals to address critical global challenges.

This intellectual framework not only augments the natural strengths of Northwestern University’s schools and units and enlivens the very ethos of the University, but it will also produce the knowledge, partnerships, and leaders necessary to create a just, sustainable world. CES represents an opportunity for institutions of higher education to achieve their public purpose to understand and address the increasing complexity, diversity, and interdependence of today’s world.

What is the CES working group?

In response to the Global Strategy Task Force proposal Transforming 21st Century Higher Education Through Community-Engaged Learning, Research and Service, a group of around 100 faculty and staff from across campus (many of them co-signatories to the proposal), were invited to attend a meeting to discuss community-engaged scholarship at Northwestern University. The attendees enthusiastically participated in large and small group discussions, identifying common opportunities and challenges in their areas of work.

The CES working group began meeting during the 2016-17 academic year and is organizing its work around several key themes:

  • Developing common vision and guidelines
  • Student preparation
  • Faculty development
  • Understanding our impact
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Asset map/database
  • Identifying institutional issues and opportunities based on current university culture/structures