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Faced with this challenge, Team Vision took a multi-pronged approach toward generating a solution. The first prong looked internally to delineate the scope of the problem, define community and community engagement, and understand VCU’s current commitment to community engagement. Next, looking external beyond the University, the team identified model institutions from which an approach for assessing community needs and determining appropriate projects could be garnered. Specifically, Team Vision, investigated Carnegie designated “Community Engaged Universities:” those institutions which have met stringent curricular and partnership criteria. The third step was to identify assessment tools and methods already in use at the University and in the City of Richmond. The final step was to come up with a series of recommendations that the University can implement. VCU’s definition of community, “Where the University has a sustained presence,” is based upon the Carnegie Foundation classification of “Community Engagement.” The Foundation term “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 reciprocity1. VCU has demonstrated its commitment to maintaining this Carnegie Foundation classification through its multi-faceted approach toward community engagement. Of the 61 other institutions that also have this designation, Team Vision chose to investigate Portland State University, North Carolina State University, Michigan State University, Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis, and Elon University to investigate.
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VCU Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute Publications