Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Dissertation Overviews

Vol. 27 No. 3

Examining the Critical Practices Supporting Community Engagement Professionals Toward Fulfillment of Higher Education’s Civic Mission

October 26, 2022


This thesis overview summarizes a study (Brandt, 2021) examining the institutional and professional practices that enable community engagement professionals (CEPs) to play vital roles in fulfilling higher education’s civic mission. Drawing on field-building research by community-engaged practitioners and scholars, such as Welch and Saltmarsh (2013) and Dostilio (2017), this study employed a mixed-methods research design through an electronic survey of open- and closed-ended questions administered to a national network of CEPs. The analysis points to five key themes that should be addressed by institutions and the field: faculty development and institutionalization efforts, positionality and power dynamics, compensation and support, institutional infrastructure, and demographic implications. Findings from this study showcase the importance of CEPs in effectively and equitably leading their institutions in actualizing their civic missions, as well as their access to resources and advancement opportunities.