A Prestudy Curricula-as-Research Model for Scholarship of Engagement: Combining Continuous Service with Discontinuous Learning

Sherrie Steiner


Restructuring changes in higher education may be affecting how faculty conduct the scholarship of engagement. As faculty increasingly face uncertain futures, the limits of service-learning need to be better understood in order to maximize the pedagogical possibilities. One way of exploring limitations is to focus on sustainable faculty-community collaborative relationships since sustainability recognizes both constraint and possibility. This article presents a Curricula-as-Research Model as a risk-reduction strategy for faculty involved in Scholarship of Engagement. According to the model, the sustainability of research collaborations can be strengthened if a multicourse collaborative project is integrated into course sequencing. The model is developed with an autoethnographic prestudy of a service-learning collaboration between Indiana University, Purdue University Fort Wayne and Blackford County Concerned Citizens in Indiana (Fall 2014 -Spring 2016). Prestudy findings indicate that curricular content may be a factor influencing the evolution and community impact of collaborative relationships between the university and the community.

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