Community Engagement

Best Practices

Guiding principles, best practices, standard operating procedures...buzzwords or ideals that guide us? At Grand Valley State University, we like to think of the following as concepts that guide our practices.

Best Practices, Characteristics that define an engaged institution:

  1. Responsiveness: Are we listening to the communities, regions, and states we serve? 
  2. Respect for Partners: Do our institutions genuinely respect the skills and capacities for our partners in collaborative projects?
  3. Academic Neutrality: Does outreach maintain the university in the role of neutral facilitator and source of information when public policy issues, particularly contentious ones, are at stake?
  4. Accessibility: Is our expertise equally accessible to all and the constituencies of concern within our states and communities, including minority constituents?
  5. Integration: Do our institutions have ways to integrate their service mission with their responsibilities for developing intellectual capital and trained intelligence?
  6. Coordination: Are faculty, staff, and students skilled in translating expert knowledge into something the public can appreciate?
  7. Resource Partnerships: Are our institution's engagement efforts associated with strong and healthy relationships with partners in government, business, and the non-profit world?
  8. *In addition to the characteristics listed above, at GVSU Continuing Education, we believe the concept of SUSTAINABILITY should also guide us.
  • Sustainability: Are our engagement efforts sustainable? As the Brundtland Commission suggests, do we "meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs"?

HLC/NCA Accreditation
Criterion Five: Engagement and Service

  • The organization learns from the constituencies it serves and analyses its capacity to serve their needs and expectations.
  • The organization has the capacity and the commitment to engage with its identified constituencies and communities.
  • The organization demonstrates its responsiveness to those constituencies that depend on it for service.
  • Internal and external constituencies value the services that the organization provides.  


Page last modified March 13, 2008