Key Competencies in Institutionalizing Engagement

Key Competencies

We define “key competencies” in this area as the knowledge, skills, and critical commitments that must be mobilized by CEPs to advocate for and garner support to civic and community engagement as an institutional priority in their context.  

To earn this core credential, an individual effectively demonstrates their knowledge, experience, skills, and critical commitments in the following areas:

  1. Ability to advocate for community engagement and communicate its value, vision, goals, and alignment with institutional mission and purpose in your context.
  2. Ability to leverage resources to advocate for community engagement as an institutional priority.
  3. Ability to advocate for the development of policies that support community engagement and position it as an institutional priority.
  4. Ability to conceive of and implement institutional structures to support engagement.
  5. Ability to collect and report data (qualitative and quantitative) to strengthen institutional support.
  6. Ability to cultivate a critical mass of supporters to act as champions for engagement 
  7. Knowledge of institutional and program evaluation mechanisms and tools that can be used or leveraged to advance community and civic engagement within the institution
  8. Knowledge of benchmarks or artifacts of institutionalization
  9. Knowledge of potential funders, grant seeking
  10. Ability to plan for both short and long term goals (e.g, an action plan, master calendar, 5-10 year strategic plan)
  11. Ability to comprehend and identify the strengths and assets of the institution in promoting positive social change (e.g., able to make a convincing case for building on past successes for expanding institutional support and resources for engagement).
  12. Ability to navigate the institution’s political environment and hierarchy, adapting to leadership changes as needed, to generate support for an engagement agenda in a context of multiple priorities and limited resources
  13. Ability to identify, work within, and challenge contradictions in practice (e.g., between the public purposes of higher education and institutional practices that undermine efforts to advance community engagement) 
  14. Ability to advocate for and respect community partners’ active role in institutionalization efforts and incorporate community partner’s participation in institutional work
  15. Ability to tell compelling stories of institutional success in community engagement and institutionalization of community engagement.
  16. Ability to connect civic and community engagement work with diversity, equity, and inclusion work as it relates to the recruitment, retention and success of under-represented students, faculty, and staff
  17. Ability to build bridges with faculty to position community engagement as core academic work at the institution.
  18. Ability to give voice to students to shape community engagement efforts and provide testimony of its impacts.

Critical commitment:

  1. Willing to participate in continued professional development to enhance competency to guide institutionalization efforts