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Building University-Community Partnerships: Linking Theory to Practice

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Recently, there has been increased attention paid to the development of relationships between universities and their surrounding communities. These relationships are formed and nurtured through student internships, service learning projects, and the development of advisory councils. The benefits for both the university and community that are derived from these partnerships can be deep and long-lasting. The authors address a gap in the literature by examining theoretical perspectives that may elucidate and guide the relationship between university programs that encourage service learning and the community entities that are served. The authors contend that university-community partnerships can in various ways enhance the generativity of all involved. Specific examples of positive, ongoing partnerships between university and the community are discussed. The authors call for greater theoretical and research grounding to guide and evaluate university- community partnerships in general and service learning in particular.
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Keywords: advisory council; building partnerships; classroom service projects; generativity; service learning internships; student projects; theory and practice; university-community partnerships; volunteer work

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Akron

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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  • Educational Practice and Theory is a bi-annual, independent, refereed journal which, since its launch in 1978, has become an important independent forum for original ideas in education. It publishes innovative and original research in the area. Its focus is both applied and theoretical and it seeks articles from a diverse range of themes and countries.
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