Institutionalizing Engagement

Campus Compact defines key competencies in the Institutionalizing Engagement area as the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by community engagement professionals to advocate and garner support for civic and community engagement as an institutional priority in their context. 

Key Competencies

    1. Able to advocate for community engagement and communicate its value, vision, goals, and alignment with institutional mission and purpose in your context
    2. Able to leverage resources to advocate for community engagement as an institutional priority
    3. Able to advocate for the development of policies that support community engagement and position it as an institutional priority
    4. Able to conceive and implement institutional structures to support engagement
    5. Able to collect and report data (qualitative and quantitative) to strengthen institutional support
    6. Able to cultivate a critical mass of supporters to act as champions for engagement
    7. Knowledge of institutional and program evaluation mechanisms and tools that can be used or leveraged to advance community and civic engagement within the institution
    8. Knowledge of benchmarks or artifacts of institutionalization
    9. Knowledge of potential funders, grant seeking
    10. Able to plan for both short- and long-term goals (E.g., an action plan, master calendar, 5 to 10-year strategic plan)
    11. Able to comprehend and identify the strengths and assets of the institution in promoting positive social change (e.g., able to make a convincing case for building on past successes for expanding institutional support and resources for engagement)
    12. Able to navigate the institution’s political environment and hierarchy, adapting to leadership changes as needed, to generate support for an engagement agenda in a context of multiple priorities and limited resources
    13. Able to identify, work within, and challenge contradictions in practice (e.g., between the public purposes of higher education and institutional practices that undermine efforts to advance community engagement)
    14. Able to advocate for and respect community partners’ active role in institutionalization efforts and incorporate community partner’s participation in institutional work
    15. Able to tell compelling stories of institutional success in community engagement and institutionalization of community engagement
    16. Able to connect civic and community engagement work with diversity, equity, and inclusion work as it relates to the recruitment, retention, and success of underrepresented students, faculty, and staff
    17. Able to build bridges with faculty to position community engagement as core academic work at the institution.
    18. Able to allow student voices to shape community engagement efforts and provide testimony of its impacts

Critical commitment

    1. Willing to participate in continued professional development to enhance competency to guide institutionalization efforts


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