Foundations of Community Engagement

Foundations of Community Engagement is a series of modules designed to build students’ core skills and knowledge related to central principles of community engagement, including Models of Community Engagement, Deconstructing Power and Privilege, and Building Effective Community Partnerships.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Define the concept of ‘community’, and describe the differences between types of community engagement activities (e.g. charity, philanthropy, foreign aid, civic participation).
  • Compare and critique the effectiveness of various approaches to addressing specific social issues.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Develop a common language to address diversity, inclusion, social justice, equity, anti-racism/anti-oppression.
  • Understand concepts of identity and intersectionality.
  • Describe how power and privilege impact individuals, organizations, and communities.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe how to evaluate stakeholder assets and needs.
  • Describe principles of good partnership.
  • Identify strategies for building and maintaining collaborative partnerships that can lead to collective impact.

About the Authors—Experiential Learning Team

The Experiential Learning team at Western University coordinates activities, such as internships, co-op, community engaged learning and job shadow, that ask students to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world environments. These opportunities are complementary to undergraduate and graduate students’ classroom learning and require students to step outside the university and consider how community, industry, and/or field experience might influence their academic learning and personal development.

The content of these modules was developed by Lisa Boyko, Kelly Hollingshead, and Melissa Walters.