As a writer and an advocate for community-driven initiatives, it is my pleasure to introduce the Engaged Scholarship Consortium, a network of universities and organizations dedicated to promoting scholarship that fosters community engagement and social impact. In this article, I will delve into what the Engaged Scholarship Consortium is, what it aims to achieve, and why it is an important movement in the academic world.
What is the Engaged Scholarship Consortium?
The Engaged Scholarship Consortium (ESC) is a global network of higher education institutions, community organizations, and individuals committed to advancing community-engaged scholarship. The consortium was founded in 1998 and is currently composed of over 150 member institutions and organizations from around the world.
ESC defines community-engaged scholarship as “scholarly activity that directly involves and is mutually beneficial to both academic institutions and the communities they serve.” This type of scholarship involves collaborating with community partners to identify research questions, design studies, collect data, and disseminate findings that address societal challenges.
What are the Goals of the Engaged Scholarship Consortium?
The Engaged Scholarship Consortium has several goals, including:
- Promoting and supporting community-engaged scholarship
- Enhancing the quality and impact of community-engaged scholarship
- Building capacity for community-engaged scholarship
- Developing and sharing best practices for community-engaged scholarship
- Advocating for policies that support community-engaged scholarship
The ESC achieves these goals through various initiatives, including conferences, webinars, publications, and research projects. The consortium also provides resources and support for member institutions to develop and implement community-engaged scholarship programs.
Why is the Engaged Scholarship Consortium Important?
The Engaged Scholarship Consortium is important for several reasons:
- It promotes scholarship that is relevant and meaningful to communities.
- It fosters collaboration and partnerships between academic institutions and communities.
- It enhances the quality and impact of research by ensuring it is informed by community perspectives and priorities.
- It builds capacity for community-engaged scholarship and supports the professional development of scholars and practitioners.
- It advocates for policies that recognize and support community-engaged scholarship and its role in addressing societal challenges.
Moreover, the Engaged Scholarship Consortium is relevant in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of community engagement and collaboration in addressing health and social issues. The ESC’s emphasis on community-engaged scholarship can help universities and organizations respond to the challenges posed by the pandemic and work towards building more resilient and equitable communities.
The Engaged Scholarship Consortium is a vital network of institutions and organizations that are committed to promoting and supporting community-engaged scholarship. Through its initiatives, the ESC fosters collaboration, enhances the quality and impact of research, builds capacity, and advocates for policies that recognize the importance of community engagement in scholarship. The ESC’s work is more relevant than ever in the current context of the pandemic, and its efforts can help universities and communities respond to the challenges and build a more just and equitable society.