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Research Articles

Vol. 12 No. 1

Motivation for Faculty Community Engagement: Learning from Exemplars

  • KerryAnn O'Meara
July 23, 2010


This explorative study examines the motivations of sixty-eight faculty exemplars in community engagement. Analysis of personal narrative essays reveals a great diversity in personal and professional motivation, including but not limited to the desire to teach well, personal commitments to specific issues, neighborhoods,
and people, a perceived fit between community engagement and disciplinary goals, and a desire for meaningful collaboration. This study reports the first phase in a multiphase study and finds that faculty exemplars have a rich reservoir of motivations that are both intrinsic and extrinsic, rooted in personal goals and identity as well as some organizational cultures. Findings suggest motivation for community engagement likely varies by type of engagement and depth of involvement over time.