Beyond the Campus: How Colleges and Universities Form Partnerships with Their Communities

Beyond the Campus: How Colleges and Universities Form Partnerships with Their Communities

Beyond the Campus: How Colleges and Universities Form Partnerships with Their Communities

Beyond the Campus: How Colleges and Universities Form Partnerships with Their Communities

Synopsis

The role of the university and its relationship to the community has long been a highly debated topic among educators, administrators, and local business leaders. David J. Maurrasse offers a passionate appeal for community partnerships. Going further than a simple explanation of the problems at hand, Beyond the Campus offers a road map for both universities and local institutions to work together for the good of their communities.

Excerpt

Angela Glover Blackwel

Founder and President of PolicyLink

As the nation searches for innovative leaders and answers to the continuing question of how to achieve social and economic equity, the community building movement has emerged as a promising approach for securing lasting results and systems change. The community building approach has the following characteristics. It involves community residents and professionals working together to take collective action aimed at solving problems and enriching lives. Additionally, the approach relies on strengthening existing organizations and networks and creating new partnerships to bring about change. It assures that the capacity is built to tackle tomorrow’s challenges. All of these efforts result in improved lives, greater social equity, and new standards for life in community.

Community building cannot occur unless all stakeholders are involved through collaboration and partnership. In that regard, institutions of higher education are key community assets. David Maurrasse, a scholar of community building and university-community partnerships, recognizes the incredible power of linking universities and communities. In this book, he adroitly identifies the challenges associated with effective community engagement and offers solutions. Ultimately, he provides an important analysis of the role of “community” in these local collaborations. Instead of promoting institutions of higher education as the leaders and the sole generators of solutions, the book regards low-income communities and their residents as equal partners, bringing great wisdom and experience. Firmly grounded himself in the principles of community building, Maurrasse offers refreshing insight for authentically connecting institutions of higher education to low-income communities.

This book could not be more timely as low-income communities across the country have refocused our attention on strategies that work in revitalizing their neighborhoods. Through creativity and imagination, they have taken over the driver’s seat in the search for solutions and are implementing innovative strategies targeted at quality-of-life issues, such as improving education and health outcomes for children, linking residents to jobs, and reversing the decades old dynamic of urban disinvestment that has left deep pockets of poverty behind.

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