Community Engagement Infrastructure

The Office of Community Engagement

The Office of Community Engagement, led by Assistant Dean Ruth Stegeman, serves both the College and Grand Valley as a whole. The Office fosters partnerships through which direction, alignment, and commitment emerge. Our community and university collaborations cultivate mutually beneficial opportunities that employ assets, promote collective ownership and action, generate new knowledge, and resolve community challenges. Through these partnerships, we enhance our capacity to prepare students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies.

The CCPS Strategic Plan

CCPS has designated a College-wide strategic planning area: :"The College of Community and Public Service is a celebration and exemplar of community-engaged teaching, research and service." To support this area, the following objectives have been adopted:

  • At least 20% of academic courses incorporate community-based learning experiences.
  • 100% of tenure stream faculty members participate in one or more external community / professional relationships not including membership in an external professional organization within their discipline.
  • Community-engaged teaching, scholarship and service will be defined and recognized in the promotion and tenure of CCPS faculty.
  • Develop a performance-based budgeting model to manage cost-efficient resource allocations and support community engagement.
  • Each year, CCPS will assist its units in generating at least five items/events which (1) get positive attention or recognition external to GVSU, and (2) enhance our reputation for community engagement.

Other key activities

Several initiatives are taking place to advance community engagement within CCPS:

  • The College Personnel Committee is crafting appropriate language for tenure and promotion that will recognize community-based research as a valued scholarly activity.
  • The College Advisory Committee has created an appropriate recognition for teams that engage the Community.
  • SPNHA, SCJ and SSW are planning to join HTM in achieving official recognition as an engaged department.
  • The departments and College Curriculum Committee are to develop a cross-listed class with community engagement as its focus.

New Award

The College Advisory Committee has established an "Emerging Community Engagement Initiative Award"  which recognizes community-based learning, scholarship and service that is exemplary in its efforts to design a strong two-way relationship of shared power and decision-making. The initiative itself is the award recipient, with an emphasis on the collective relationships as opposed to individual contributions. The initiative may be curricular or co-curricular or a combination of both.

HTM earned "Engaged Department" designation

The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management has been awarded a $5,000 grant to participate in the Engaged Departments Initiative. Over an 18-month period, HTM is incorporating curricular scaffolding of community-based learning, develop collaborative approaches to community partnerships, and working toward establishing a culture that supports and rewards community-based work.

Partnership Showcase

The Partnership Showcase

The Office for Community Engagement hosted The Partnership Showcase, which highlights community-based teaching and research initiatives. The showcase featured presentations and provided a forum for exchanging ideas with community partners and Grand Valley faculty, staff, and students. Five of the projects were affiliated with CCPS faculty and students, and involved sixteen community partners: Calvin College, Spectrum Health’s Heartside Nutrition Project, Dwelling Place, Mel Trotter, Degage,  Indian Trails Camp, Kent County Health Department, YWCA West Central Michigan, MEDC, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Alpena Community College Marine Tech Program, NOAA Thunder Bay National Sanctuary, SeaView Systems, GVSU Annis Research Institute, East Grand Rapids Public Schools and East Grand Rapids Historical Society.: For more information on these and other community-based projects that were presented, please see:

Page last modified January 24, 2017