Community-Engaged Scholarship

Community-Engaged Scholarship refers to scholarly work conducted as a reciprocally-beneficial partnership between traditionally trained "experts" and members of a community, and intended for community improvement.  Although the exact division of labor in such scholarship can vary considerably depending on the nature of work and the persons or groups involved, it should always involve the active and intentional sharing of knowledge among all participants at all stages of the research process, including in defining questions to be explored, methods to be used, analytic frameworks considered, and interpretation and communication of findings.

Within the UCSC, the activities of Chicago Studies aim at helping students, faculty, and community partners to develop community-engaged academic projects.  A number of classes in the College also support students in this goal.  To learn more about Chicago Studies, or for help connecting with resources to develop, enact, and share the results of community-engaged scholarship, contact Chris Skrable, UCSC's Associate Director for Community-based Research and Experiential Learning.

The Office of Civic Engagement supports the broader integration of the University's work of teaching and research into the life of Chicago and other cities worldwide, in partnership with UChicago Urban and many other engaged and applied research centers across campus.

Beyond the University of Chicago, many Chicago-area universities and research centers collaborate closely with community members to make a difference in our city and beyond.  Some (like DePaul's Egan Urban Center or Loyola's Center for Urban Research and Learning) focus on general social sciences research, whereas others (like Loyola's Institute for Environmental Sustainability) are more focused on specific topics.  On a more grass-roots level, many educational institutions or community-based education programs (like MAPSCorps) support community-based organizations in pursuing individual research projects in collaboration with university and even high school students, often through the framework of service-learning experiences or classes.  To learn more about service-learning in Chicago and nationwide, contact UCSC Associate Director Chris Skrable.