Academic Programs in Community Engagement & The Center for Engaged Democracy
A major strand of my research on service-learning in higher education found that there is a shallow institutionalization of community engagement; a notion of service-learning as “a mile wide and an inch deep,” or what I have termed an “engagement ceiling.” My research has thus focused on ways to institutionalize service-learning in powerful and sustainable ways through academic programs such as certificates, minors, and majors. I founded a research center – The Center For Engaged Democracy – that found dozens of such programs in the United States and internationally. These programs, I argue, provide a complimentary vision for the deep institutionalization of civic and community engagement in higher education. These programs, moreover, demonstrate that there are conceptually rigorous and practically feasible means by which to create such sustained, sequential, and scaffolded academic programs. My research center offers a wide variety of resources, research, and consultancy that has supported the development and expansion of dozens of such academic programs in colleges and universities.
Specifically, from 2009 through 2016, The Center for Engaged Democracy served as a central hub for developing, coordinating, and supporting academic programs – certificates, minors, and majors – around the country focused on civic and community engagement, broadly defined. The Center brought together faculty, administrators, and community partners to support such academic programs through a variety of initiatives and practices: compiling existing research and documentation to support new and developing programs; sponsoring symposia, conferences, and research opportunities to build a vibrant research base and academic community; and providing a voice and space for dialogue for the value of such academic programs across higher education. As of 2016, the Center serves primarily as a web-based archive for documents and resources meant to support academic programs focusing on community engagement. It also continues to maintain an active and up-to-date list of academic programs – certificates, minors, and majors – around the country focused on civic and community engagement. Please email Dr. Dan Sarofian-Butin for additional information or to update the list of academic programs. Information about Dr. Sarofian-Butin's work regarding community engagement and the Center can be found at http://www.danbutin.net/.
The impetus for Dr. Sarofian-Butin’s research on academic programs can be found in these two articles:
Dan Butin. 2006. “The Limits of Service-Learning in Higher Education”, The Review of Higher Education, 29(4). Pp. 473-498.
Dan Butin. 2006. “Disciplining Service-Learning: Institutionalization and the Case for Community Studies”, International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 18(1). Pp. 57-64.
A synthesis and elaboration of this research can be found here:
Dan Butin. 2010. Service-Learning in Theory and Practice: The Future of Community Engagement in Higher Education. NY: Palgrave.
Dan Butin. 2010. “Can I Major in Service-Learning? An Empirical Analysis of Majors, Minors, and Certificates”, Journal of College and Character, 11(2). Pp. 1-19.
Dan Butin. 2010. “Service-Learning as an Intellectual Movement: The Need for an ‘Academic Home’ and Critique for the Community Engagement Movement.” In Problematizing Service-Learning: Critical Reflections for Development and Action, pp. 19-36. edited by Trae Stewart & Nicole Webster. Information Age Publishing.
Dan Butin. 2012. “Rethinking the ‘Apprenticeship of Liberty’: The Case for Academic Programs in Community Engagement in Higher Education” Journal of College & Character. Volume 13(1). Pp. 1-8.
Dan Butin. 2012. “When Engagement is Not Enough: Building the Next Generation of the Engaged Campus.” In D. Butin and S. Seider (editors) The Engaged Campus: Majors, Minors and Certificates as the New Community Engagement. Pp. 1-14. NY: Palgrave.
Below are two PowerPoint slides I have used in talks about the institutionalization of community engagement in higher education.
Academic Programs in Community Engagement
This is a working list combining research done by Dan Sarofian-Butin, programs’ “self-declaration," and the work of a group of graduate students -- Lyena Chavez, Emily McCaffrey, Elsabel Rincon, and Brian Shea -- as part of a course (Theories of Organizational Change). Individuals can provide updates,