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Toolkit Home
Unit 1: Planning for
Promotion & Tenure
Unit 2: Creating A
Strong Portfolio
References &
Toolkit Site Index


Why We Developed This Toolkit
Defining Community-Engaged Scholarship
Toolkit Goals & Components
How The Toolkit Was Developed
How To Cite the Toolkit
How To Use The Toolkit
About the Authors
References & Resources

Why We Developed This Toolkit

"Many untenured faculty find they must chose between doing the work that would contribute to career advancement and doing the work of the institution in linking with communities and educating students."
Ron Richards, Building Partnerships: Educating Health
Professionals for the Communities they Serve, 1996

In Scholarship Reconsidered, the late Ernest Boyer contends that in addition to valuing the generation of knowledge (the traditional definition of scholarship), higher education should also support the application of knowledge through faculty engagement in community-based research, teaching and service (Boyer, 1990). Boyer and other leaders in higher education have strongly advocated that institutions should encourage faculty members to use their expertise in new and creative ways to work with communities for long-term community improvement (Boyer, 1990; Harkavy 1996; Lynton, 1996).

Leaders in the health professions have also embraced Boyer's work. The Institute of Medicine's November 2002 Report endorsed work by Boyer emphasizing the need to shift faculty roles and rewards to support faculty commitment to communities. The Future of Public Health recommended that "academic institutions should develop criteria for recognizing and rewarding faculty scholarship related to service activities that strengthen public health practice," and that the National Institutes of Health should increase the proportion of its budget allocated to population and community-based prevention (IOM Report, Nov. 2002 pg. 2).

There is a gap, however, between these reports' rhetoric and recommendations and the reality of how promotion and tenure actually works in health professional schools. Externally, the survival of clinical departments and their faculty are dependent on the ability to maintain a combination of clinical and research revenues. Other health professions schools, such as schools of public health, are often equally dependent on research and state-funded grants and contracts to sustain themselves. Community based activities are often not consistent with the demand to generate clinical and research revenue. Internally, faculty roles and rewards policies can be significant barriers to providing faculty members the means to show active commitment to community-based problems (Richards, 1996, Seifer, 2003, Calleson, 2002).

Thus, untenured faculty are more likely to receive promotion for publishing in peer-reviewed journals than for showing an active commitment to addressing community problems (Richards, 1996). While barriers to increased community involvement exist (Calleson et al, 2002), health professional faculty can be successful in gaining promotion and/or tenure by making one's work relevant to the community and also meeting the institutional expectations for faculty scholarship.

Defining Community-Engaged Scholarship

As a result of Boyer's effort to expand the framework for scholarship, institutions of higher education are using broader definitions of scholarship, encompassing a continuum of faculty work ranging from discovery to the integration of discovery with application to work that is primarily the application of faculty expertise (Driscoll and Lynton, 1999), (O'Meara, 2002). In this toolkit we use the term community-engaged scholarship to reflect this range of faculty work in communities. Community-engaged scholarship can apply to teaching (e.g. service-learning, research (e.g. community-based participatory research), community-responsive clinical and population-based care (e.g., community-oriented primary care, academic public health practice), and service (e.g. community service, outreach, advocacy).

The positive response by the health professions to this broader conception of scholarship has been less immediate than in other parts of higher education, but has also gained ground recently as schools struggle to respond to the changing health care system and societal expectations. The Association of American Medical Colleges' recent status report on faculty appointment and tenure, for example, indicates that medical schools are introducing new faculty tracks and career pathways and now recognize a broader range of scholarly activities (AAMC). The AAMC has also sought to advance the scholarship of teaching (Simpson and Fincher, 1999) through the development of teaching portfolios used in promotion and tenure decisions. A 1999 report of the American Dental Education Association's Task Force on Future Dental Tracks identifies a shortage of dental faculty and recommends creating faculty tracks for educators and incentives for community-based clinicians to teach in dental schools. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing issued a 1999 position statement on the definition of scholarship in nursing which supports Boyer's model and provides examples of the types of documentation needed for each dimension of scholarship in nursing (AACN 1999).

The Association of Schools of Public Health's Council of Public Health Practice Coordinator's 1999 Report, Demonstrating Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice encourages schools of public health to reconsider the definition and scope of what constitutes scholarship as it relates to public health practice as part of the institutional mission and faculty reward structures (ASPH 1999). While these discipline-specific efforts have served to generate debate and discussion, few academic health centers formally recognize or reward community-engaged scholarship.

Toolkit Goals & Components

Thus, the goal of this toolkit is to provide health professional faculty with a set of tools to carefully plan and document their community-engaged scholarship and produce strong portfolios for promotion and tenure. This toolkit includes the following components:

  • Planning For Promotion and Tenure focuses on the role of mentors, developing a vision for work with communities and strategies for documenting one's work across the academic missions.
  • Creating a Strong Portfolio provides specific details for preparing a portfolio for promotion and tenure review, including sections on the career statement, curriculum vitae, teaching portfolio, letters from external reviewers, letters from community and practice partners, and documentation of service or public health practice activities. Each section includes portfolio examples from faculty who participated in the Scholarship Project.
  • Portfolio Examples that include biosketches and portfolio materials from the faculty members who participated in the Scholarship Project.
  • References & Resources that includes citations, a glossary of terms, examples of schools that support community-engaged faculty, and a list of agencies that fund community-engaged scholarship.

In the future, we will be incorporating these additional components into the toolkit:

  • A Guide for Promotion and Tenure Committees that faculty can share with members of promotion and tenure communities to educate them about this form of scholarship and how it can be assessed.
  • A Guide for Community and Practice Partners that faculty can share with community and practice partners to educate them about the promotion and tenure review process and how they might be able to provide support.

How The Toolkit Was Developed

This toolkit draws on two main sources of information:

  • The Scholarship Project - an educational study that involved interviews of health professions faculty (e.g. dentistry, medicine, public health, nursing, and allied health) in both research intensive and teaching-oriented institutions in the United States and reviews of their portfolios. Each faculty described the best practices and strategies they used to highlight their community-engaged scholarship in their promotion and tenure portfolio and recommended strategies faculty need to be effective in this work in academic settings.
  • A review of recent and relevant literature on scholarship, faculty development and community-academic partnerships.

How To Cite The Toolkit

Calleson D, Kauper-Brown J, Seifer SD. Community-Engaged Scholarship Toolkit. Seattle: Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, 2005.

How To Use The Toolkit

Faculty in the health professions can use the toolkit in a number of ways:

  • To deepen their understanding of community-engaged scholarship
  • To communicate effectively about community-engaged scholarship with their peers
  • To develop a vision and plan of action for their academic careers
  • To identify and recruit mentors
  • To prepare their portfolio for promotion and tenure reviews.

In addition, senior faculty can incorporate the toolkit into their guidance and mentoring of junior faculty.

Although faculty members are the primary audience for the toolkit, others may also benefit from the toolkit. For example,

  • Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows can use the toolkit to develop a vision and plan for their academic careers, to identify and recruit mentors, and to prepare cover letters and curriculum vitae when applying for academic positions.
  • Individuals who are responsible for faculty development can incorporate the toolkit into faculty development programs and workshops.

Click here for a flyer about the toolkit that can be used to publicize this resource.

About the Authors

Diane C. Calleson

Diane Calleson, PhD has a joint appointment with the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Family Medicine in the School of Medicine and the Public Health Leadership Program in the School of Public Health. Diane's work crosses the disciplinary boundaries between educational research and policy and community health. She trained in educational policy at the doctoral level and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the W.K. Kellogg Community Health Scholars Program at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Public Health (1999-2000). Diane teaches courses on community-based participatory research, physician leadership with underserved communities, and program planning and evaluation. She also directs three externally-funded program evaluations.

Diane has worked extensively with Community-Campus Partnerships for Health since 1996. She co-directed a national study of academic health centers with CCPH executive director, Sarena Seifer, that examined the forces that affect the community involvement of academic health centers and is currently one of the partners on the ASPH/CDC project Examining Community-Institutional Partnerships for Prevention Research. Diane was selected as a CCPH Fellow from 2002-03 to develop this toolkit to support faculty in developing a strong portfolio for promotion and tenure that highlights their community involvement. In conjunction with this project, Diane is a senior consultant to the Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborative funded by the US Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.

Sarena D. Seifer

Sarena D. Seifer, MD is executive director of Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and a research assistant professor in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Washington.
Her research focuses on the principles and best practices of partnerships between communities and higher educational institutions around education, research, and community/economic development. She is the author of numerous articles and reports on health professions education, is co-editor of a book on service-learning in medical education published by the American Association of Higher Education, and is co-editor of recent issues of the Journal of Interprofessional Care, Metropolitan Universities and Education for Health on the theme of community-campus partnerships.

In 1995, Sarena completed a postdoctoral fellowship program in health policy at the University of California-San Francisco's Center for the Health Professions. While at the Center, she conducted research on medical education policy, physician workforce issues and physician retraining. She retains the title of Senior Fellow at the Center and is an active collaborator on several Center-sponsored projects. Prior to her fellowship, she was a health policy analyst for the Washington State Senate and director of recruitment and retention for a regional association of community and migrant health centers.

Sarena is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, and received her master's degree in physiology and her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine. After completing her medical education, Sarena served as the American Medical Student Association's legislative affairs director and subsequently as founding director of its Center for Health Policy Studies.

As a medical student and throughout her professional career, Sarena has advocated for change in health professions education to better meet societal needs. The American Association of Higher Education has recognized her for her work as a "Young Leader of the Academy".

Jen Kauper-Brown

Jen Kauper-Brown, MPH is Program Director of Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. Her responsibilities at CCPH include managing projects related to community-based participatory research, community-engaged scholarship, and the role of health institutions as community and economic
anchors. These include the ASPH/CDC project Examining Community-Institutional Partnerships for Prevention Research, the Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborative
funded by the US Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and the annual CCPH award, among others.

Jen graduated from the University of Washington in 2002 with a Master's in Public Health. Her Masters thesis, entitled How Participatory Action Research Contributes to Systems Change: A Qualitative Case Study, explored how this research methodology influences change in public sector systems.

Through her professional and volunteer experiences, Jen has gained extensive experience in public health education and community development. Her work has included policy research and analysis on the issues of health care access and early childhood education, HIV prevention with homeless youth, health program development with low-income women and children as an AmeriCorps*VISTA community service worker, and community environmental health assessment in an urban neighborhood in Minnesota. Jen received her BA in Environmental Studies and Biology from Macalester College.


Funding for the toolkit was provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Helene Fuld Health Trust, HSBC, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

We extend special thanks to the Scholarship Project faculty who shared their vision for community-engaged scholarship and their experiences in developing their portfolios and navigating the promotion and tenure process, and to Sarena D. Seifer, executive director and Jen Kauper Brown, program director at Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. We also want to acknowledge the individuals who volunteered their time to critically review the toolkit, including Janet Bickel, Barbara Brandt, Charles Glassick, Cathy Jordan, Elizabeth King, Linda Lindeke, Meredith Marks, and Pamela Reynolds.

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