CBL Appendix B

In an effort to move community engagement forward at Grand Valley State University, the following best practices have been developed by a team of GVSU faculty in the winter of 2014 to clarify ideals and practices for those active in this work.


Community Organization



Incentivize Faculty:  Resource, Recognize, and Reward these efforts

Reciprocate:  Agree to work with GVSU faculty and students recognizing that community-based learning (CBL) is "Messy Inquiry."  Emphasize reciprocity & mutuality.

Reflect: Build reflection opportunities on the service learning activities throughout the course.

Prepare students for "working with: community partners from the beginning.  Emphasize reciprocity & mutuality.

Prepare:  Intentionally prepare faculty for "working with" community partners from the beginning.  Emphasize reciprocity & mutuality. 

Assess needs and develop achievable goals together.

Create, Integrate, & Present: Encourage students to do creative assignment presentations, integrating community work with course content & student values/future goals. 

Experiment:  Prep students for experimental nature of work. Community-based learning is "Messy Inquiry."

Sustain: Explore & engage sustainable models for long-term community impact.


Scaffold community engagement activities so students can build on their own and others' initial efforts.


Celebrate the work accomplished (reward engagement).


Assess & Evaluate community partners' perspective & students' learning iteratively. 

With thanks to the Faculty Learning Community participants:
Brandon Youker, Danielle Lake, Deborah Lown, Erica Curry VanEe, Justin Pettibone, Lisa Sisson, Patricia Stow Bolea, Rachel Campbell, and Tonisha Jones

Page last modified September 28, 2018