Higher Education beyond Job Creation: Universities, Citizenship, and Community

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9780739196342: Higher Education beyond Job Creation: Universities, Citizenship, and Community
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Higher education in the United States and elsewhere is being forced to respond to several disparate social and economic pressures: social trust and connectedness is down, empathy across citizens is deteriorating, political awareness and participation are low, and job prospects and financial security are sobering for many citizens, even the college educated. The response to these pressures is not to double down on one mission of higher education, namely job creation. Instead, higher education marching into the next decades requires an integrative approach that promotes job creation, skill development, citizen cultivation, and knowledge dissemination—all oriented towards strengthening communities and providing opportunity for all citizens to pursue the good life.

Across eight chapters, this book provides historical and theoretical analyses of the role of higher education in society across these four missions, as well as applied mini and extended case examples demonstrating how the four missions can be successfully integrated. The extended cases consist of one pedagogy example, a teaching initiative labeled “joined up service learning” that represents deep partnership between the university and community, and an institutional design case of an academic research center and its work conducted in partnership with community stakeholders. Recommendations are advanced for an integrated approach to performance funding of higher education institutions, tenure and promotion expectations for faculty, and graduation requirements for students, among others.

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About the Author:

Thomas A. Bryer is associate professor in the School of Public Administration and director of the Center for Public and Nonprofit Management at the University of Central Florida.

Review:

This is a timely and vital contribution for those who take seriously the public purposes of higher education. Grounded within the philosophical roots of education in a democracy, each chapter inspires new thought and provides concrete recommendations for faculty, administrators and public policy. Concepts such as ‘return on engagement’ and the ‘multiple narratives of higher education’ have the potential to reframe our work in important ways by bringing heightened attention to the role of colleges and universities as citizens in the twenty-first century. (Julie A Hatcher, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)

Higher Education beyond Job Creation offers a clear and compelling review of the programs and strategies at one university designed to embed civic learning and engagement across the student experience. It will inspire presidents, faculty of all disciplines, and staff interested in educating for community and global engagement. (Nancy Thomas, Tufts University)

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