Published In

Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice

Document Type


Publication Date



Community and college -- United States, Service learning, Public history, Scholarship of teaching and learning, College teaching


How can we create opportunities for students to gain experience in community-engaged scholarship that truly benefits the community given the constraints of the academic calendar, students’ varied capacity to develop reciprocal and responsive community relationships, and the tendency for community-engaged research to instrumentalize community partners in service to academic deliverables? This paper explores one attempt to meet this challenge: an experimental graduate course in community development that linked course content to a participatory history project. Designed as a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) study, instructors studied the instructional process as well as outcomes for students and community partners. We find that the project—while not without difficulty— provided a valuable opportunity to develop skills and relationships while contributing to a project that both students and partners found meaningful and relevant. The paper explores the experiences for students and community partners, as well as key course design elements, and considers implications for other community-engaged courses.


Creative Commons License

© 2019 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

Persistent Identifier