What is Community Engaged Scholarship?

For the purposes of this repository, it is important to define what is meant, and not meant, by our use of the term Community Engaged Scholarship (CES). We define CES as the creation of new knowledge to address social issues that is generated through relationships and shared activity between those in the university and those outside the university in ways grounded in qualities of reciprocity, mutual respect, shared authority, and co-creation.

CES is, by its very nature, asset-based in that the strengths, skills, and knowledge of those in the community are validated and legitimized alongside that of university-trained scholars. CES is also transdisciplinary, meaning that it combines multiple disciplines within the university yet transcends the disciplines by drawing on knowledge that is generated outside the university (Saltmarsh).   

This specific definition of CES distinguishes it from a broader notion of public scholarship which tends to refer to scholarly and creative activity that is public-facing and oriented toward problem-solving, but not necessarily predicated on relationships of shared knowledge production with those outside the university nor grounded in qualities of reciprocity, mutual respect, shared authority, and co-creation.

It is also important to acknowledge that CES is not simply applied research, given  its focus on knowledge production and discovery as well as community development, outreach, and partnerships in problem solving. In this regard, CES is subject to an assessment of quality and rigor in an equal regard as other forms of scholarly production.