An engaged university is one that produces research of significance that benefits the society and educates students for productive roles in a modern and diverse world by a) maintaining high standards for scholarship and b) partnering with individuals and organizations outside of the academia for the mutual beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources.
Community Engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2006).
Engagement occurs when a faculty, staff, or student's research, teaching, or service activities significantly engages their scholarly expertise with communities outside of the university with the direct goal of improving outcomes for those who live and work in them.
Engagement between members of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and its borderland communities can take many forms ranging from one-directional outreach to engaged scholarship.
Outreach typically involves a one-way relationship between members of the university and members of the community - with the university providing educational, health care, networking or other services and the community being the recipient.
Engagement, on the other hand, involves mutually beneficial, reciprocal partnerships between members of the university and members of the borderland community. It reflects a two-way relationship that leverages university knowledge and resources with the knowledge and experiences of the community. In an ideal scenario, the process helps create new knowledge that benefits both the university and the community or the general public.
1. Community Outreach And Engagement SURVEY
The purpose of the annual TTUHSC El Paso Community Outreach and Engagement survey is to both document the involvement of our TTUHSC El Paso faculty, staff, and residents in community outreach and engagement activities and collate community partners that request support from TTUHSC El Paso. Examples of activities include:
- New and continuing community projects.
- Collaborations with community organizations.
- Services provided in the community.
- Collaborations with external and internal partners.
- Level of community involvement (number of hours dedicated).
2. Community Engagement SUMMIT
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso through the Office for Outreach and Community Engagement sponsors an Annual Community Engagement Summit which serves to evaluate the status of our engagement with our local community partners.
As a result of our Annual Community Engagement Survey, major community engagement partners are identified, and invited to participate in this summit. The partners range from major local education institutions, patient support groups, as well as healthcare organizations. The partners gather to both give feedback via focus groups in order to ensure TTUHSC El Paso aligns our engagements with our community partners’ vision and ensure that our engagements are focused on sustainable multi-directional relationships. This Summit assists in assessing the broader impacts of TTUHSC El Paso’s engagement activities.
3. TTUHSC El Paso Campus Day Of SERVICE
TTUHSC El Paso community reaches out to our Paso del Norte community by providing one focused day of volunteer service by the entire TTUHSC El Paso campus community. Students, faculty, and staff, will all provide a wide range of volunteer activities to a wide range of community based non-profit organizations at a wide range of sites. The Office for Outreach and Community Engagement, through its Community Outreach and Engagement Taskforce, provides coordination and resources to student governments, faculty senate, and employee council, to make this annual event a success.
4. Community Engagement SYMPOSIUM
During our first annual community engagement Summit, various community patient support groups expressed a need for a centralized leader to gather the disparate patient support organizations to learn best practices, disseminate information, and share community resources. TTUHSC El Paso, as the major health education resource, will step in to fill this need and will sponsor, through Our Office for Outreach and Community Engagement, this learning opportunity for our community partners.
5. SYNCHRONY between TTUHSC El Paso and the El Paso Community
Our office provides synchronization of communication between our campus and our El Paso community partners. (Add link to collaborative event menu button and links) Coordination of activities on the TTUHSC El Paso Campus by community partners, identification of faculty and staff expertise for use by the El Paso community, and identification of resources. In a similar manner our office provides identification of community partners for faculty looking to provide research, student experiences, or clinical training. Our Office for Outreach and Community Engagement synchronizes these collaborative activities between our campus community and the El Paso community.
6. TTUHSC El Paso Community Physician SOURCING and SUPPORT
Our Office for Outreach and Community Engagement provides community physician SOURCING for educational departments on our campus as a source for community faculty outreach and support.