Book Reviews

Book by Sandmann, L.R., Thornton, C.H. & Jaeger, A.J.
Review by: Shannon Lynn Burton
Academic Advising Specialist
School of Criminal Justice
Michigan State University


Academic advisors often encourage students to participate in service-learning, study abroad, internships, and other activities that help build their skills as global citizens and help them apply the concepts they learn in classrooms to the world around them. In line with theorists like Pascarella and Terenzini (2005), academic advisors advocate for engagement as a core component of student development in the creation of academic plans for students. In this engagement, students often participate in activities that require them to be part of what happens outside the institution. In order to do this effectively, academic advisors must have an understanding as to the overall mission and vision of community engagement. Institutionalizing community engagement in higher education: The first wave of Carnegie classified institutions provides a backdrop for the nature and extent of the institutionalization of engagement across all levels of the university. 

Institutionalizing community engagement in higher education clearly outlines the many ways in which colleges and universities seek to benefit the world outside their doors. Based on the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification framework, the dynamics of leading an institution, funding, assessing, partnering and student learning are examined. Community engagement as defined by the Carnegie framework is defined very broadly: “the collaboration ‘between higher education institutions and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.’” Each chapter provides a reflection upon each of the components within the classification framework. 

For academic advisors, this book engages them to think critically about the greater context of their work with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other constituents of their institution. As the field of academic advising moves forward in defining the ways in which the work is meaningful to students and to institutions, its practitioners should also reflect on the many ways that their work is tied to the mission and goals of the institution. According to Habley (2005), “if the advising program is not connected to the institution's mission (or strategic plan or vision) then, the program becomes peripheral and perfunctory.” Institutionalizing community engagement in higher education puts forth a one avenue to further define academic advising in a meaningful way to its stakeholders.

Questions academic advisors and administrators for academic advising programs could reflect upon in relation to community engagement could include: How does the institution value community engagement and in practice, do process and vision for advising reflect that value? How does the academic advising program build partnerships to enhance student engagement? Is community engagement part of the process for strategic planning for the advising program? If academic advisors support the mission of community engagement, how is their work recognized, evaluated, or rewarded? What learning outcomes in relation to community engagement does the academic advising program address? How can the academic advising program and advisors strengthen current engagement activities occurring on campus? These are only a few of the many questions that could be addressed based on the classification framework to bolster not only the mission of academic advising programs, but the institution as a whole. 

The last chapter of Institutionalizing community engagement in higher education addresses the question of whether or not community engagement will endure on college and university campuses. Although this work has a long history of critical reflection, many still question its longevity. However, whether it be a trend or not, as a value and a learning outcome of the institutions where academic advising occurs currently, it should be reflected in the processes that affect students. 

References:

Habley, W.R. (2005). Developing a mission statement for the academic advising program. Retrieved January 8, 2010 from NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site: http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Clearinghouse/AdvisingIssues/Mission-Statements.htm
Pascarella, E.T., & Terenzini, P.T. (2005). How college affects students. A third decade of research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Sandmann, L.R., Thornton, C.H. & Jaeger, A.J., eds. Institutionalizing community engagement in higher education: The first wave of Carnegie classified institutions (New directions for higher education #147) San Francisco: Jossey Bass.


Institutionalizing community engagement in higher education: The first wave of Carnegie classified institutions (New directions for higher education #147). (2009). Book by Sandmann, L.R., Thornton, C.H. & Jaeger, A.J., eds. Review by: Shannon Lynn Burton. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. 107 pp. $29.00. ISBN # 978-0-470-52560-9
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