Toolkit Home Introduction Unit 1: Planning for Promotion & Tenure Unit 2: Creating a Strong Portfolio Portfolio Examples References & Resources

Glossary of Relevant Terms

Academic Public Health Practice is defined as "the applied interdisciplinary pursuit of scholarship in the field of public health. The application of academic public health is accomplished through practice based research, practice-based teaching and practice-based service."

Citation: Council of Practice Coordinators (1999). Demonstrating Excellence in Academic Public Health Practice. Washington, D.C.: Association of Schools of Public Health (pg. 9).

Community-Based Participatory Research: "Community-based participatory research (CBPR) in health is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities"

Citation: W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Community Health Scholars Program

Community-Based Clinical Practice: Clinical work by its very mission is focused on contributing to the overall health of the community at the level of the individual patient. Many clinical departments in academic health centers and health professional schools also provide care to indigent patients and frequently provide charity care. How does community-based clinical practice differ from that provided in academic or private practice settings? Community-based clinical practice seeks to improve the health of the local community and takes into account the community context of patients. Examples might include physician involvement in community-based health prevention and promotion projects.

Citation: Steiner, B., Calleson, D. Curtis, P. Goldstein, A. George, G. How Can Medical Faculty in AHCs Engage with Communities?: A Case Study. Unpublished manuscript.

Community-Engaged Scholarship: Scholarship is teaching, discovery, integration, application and engagement that has clear goals, adequate preparation, appropriate methods, significant results, effective presentation, and reflective critique that is rigorous and peer-reviewed. Community-engaged scholarship is scholarship that involves the faculty member in a mutually beneficial partnership with the community. Community-engaged scholarship can be transdisciplinary and often integrates some combination of multiple forms of scholarship. For example, service-learning can integrate teaching, application and engagement and community-based participatory research can integrate discovery, integration, application and engagement.

Citation: Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions. Linking Scholarship and Communities: The Report of the Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions, 2005.

Community Engagement is the application of institutional resources to address and solve challenges facing communities through collaboration with these communities. These resources include, for example, the knowledge and expertise of students, faculty, and staff; the institution's political position; campus buildings; and land. The methods for community engagement of academic institutions include community service, service-learning, community-based participatory research, training and technical assistance, coalition-building, capacity-building, and economic development.

Citation: Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions. Linking Scholarship and Communities: The Report of the Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions, 2005.

Community Engagement and/ or Outreach when used in specific reference to scholarship, describes scholarly work that is done with, and for, members of a group outside of higher education. It may be contrasted with scholarly work that is performed solely for the university, department, disciplines, or professional associations. This is virtually identical to the notion of "outreach" as defined by Michigan State University: "a form of scholarship that cuts across teaching, research and service. It involves generating, transmitting, applying, and preserving knowledge for the direct benefit of external audiences in ways that are consistent with university and unit missions."

Note: The term outreach is used frequently by land grant universities.

Citation: University Outreach at Michigan State University: Extending Knowledge to Serve Society. Michigan State University, October 1993; Campus Compact.

Community-Oriented Primary Care has five essential elements including (1) the clinical practice of primary medical care, (2) a diagnosis by the practice of the health problems of its community, using epidemiologic methods (along with simple observation and intuition), (3) a means of soliciting and using the concerns, opinions, and observations of members of the community being cared for, (4) the implementation of such programs of care, information, and other community health actions as are suggested by the intelligence the practice has gathered (these programs and actions may be undertaken by the practice itself or by some other community agency or institution in response to the expressed concern of the practice), and (5) a continuing surveillance of the community's health and an evaluation of the practice's programs, again using an epidemiologic approach, applying the results, as in a feedback loop, to make further changes.

Citation: Madison, D. JAMA, March 11, 1983, Vol. 249.

Community Service refers to action taken to meet the needs of others and better the community as a whole. Benjamin Barber writes that community service is an essential component of democratic citizenship. "Service to the neighborhood and to the nation are not the gifts of altruists but a duty of free men and women whose freedom is itself wholly dependent on the assumption of political responsibilities."

Citations: Barber, Benjamin R. Aristocracy of Everyone. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992, p. 246; Campus Compact.

Community Service refers to "Services which are identified by an institution of higher education, through formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations, as designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs, including:

  • Such fields as health care, child care, literacy training, education (including tutorial services), welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development, and community improvement;
  • Work in service opportunities or youth corps as defined in the National and Community Service Act of 1990;
  • Support services to students with disabilities; and
  • Activities in which a student serves as a mentor for such purposes as tutoring, supporting educational and recreational activities; and counseling, including career counseling."

Citation: Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, and the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1993.

External Review: After faculty have developed their dossier or portfolio, many departments and schools send out all or parts of the dossier to academic or peers in practice. These individuals then are asked to review the faculty member's documents as part of an external review process.

Professional Service: In its broadest sense, professional service has been defined as "work based on [a] faculty member's professional expertise that contributes to the mission of the institution." Nancy L. Thomas further clarifies the idea by distinguishing five ways in which service is commonly understood in colleges and universities: service to the department or institution; service to students; service to a profession; service to a local community organization; public service. It is the last of these five that most closely approximates professional service as a form of community engagement.

Ernest Lynton points out that this aspect of professional service been expanded upon by several institutions, arriving at three general criteria for professional service: 1) It contributes to the public welfare or the common good. 2) It calls upon faculty members' academic and/or professional expertise. 3) It directly addresses or responds to real-world problems, issues, interests, or concerns.

Professional service can include training, technical assistance, consultation and providing continuing education. In the health professions, these terms might also be considered public health practice. To the extent that this is conducted on a voluntary basis, it can be considered community service

Citations: Thomas, Nancy L. The Institution as Citizen: How Colleges and Universities Can Enhance their Civic Roles. New England Resource Center for Higher Education. Unpublished; Lynton, Ernest. Making the Case for Professional Service. American Association for Higher Education, 1995; Campus Compact.

Scholarship: "Scholarship is demonstrated when knowledge is advanced or transformed by application of one's intellect in an informed, disciplined, and creative manner. The resulting products must be assessed for quality by peer review and made public" (pg. 888).

Citations: Fincher et al. Scholarship in Teaching: An Imperative for the 21st Century. Acad. Med. 75;9: 887-894. Fincher cites Hansen PA, Roberts KB. Putting Teaching Back at the Center. Teach Learn Med. 1992; 4:136-9.

Scholarship: "Scholarship is teaching, discovery, integration, application, and engagement that has clear goals, adequate preparation, appropriate methods, significant results, effective presentation, and reflective critique that is rigorous and peer reviewed."

Citation: Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions. Linking Scholarship and Communities: The Report of the Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions, 2005.

Scholarship of Teaching: "Teaching becomes scholarship when "it demonstrates current knowledge of the field and current findings about teaching invites peer review, and involves exploration of student's learning. Essential features of teaching as scholarship include the teaching's being public, being open to evaluation, and being presented in a form that other's can build upon." (p. 888)

Citations: Fincher et al. Scholarship in Teaching: An Imperative for the 21st Century. Acad. Med. 75;9: 887-894. Fincher cites Hutchings P, Schulman LS. The scholarship of teaching new elaborations and developments. Change. 1999; Sept/Oct: 11-15.

Scholarship of Engagement means "connecting the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic and ethical problems, to our children, to our schools, to our teachers and our cities…"

Citation: Boyer, 1996, p. 14.

Service-Learning: "Service-learning is a structured learning experience that combines community service with preparation and reflection. Students engaged in service-learning provide community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the context in which service is provided, the connection between their service and their academic coursework, and their roles as citizens. Service-learning has the following characteristics:

  • Strives to achieve a balance between service and learning objective - in service-learning, partners must negotiate the differences in their needs and expectations.
  • Places an emphasis on addressing community concerns and broad determinants of health
  • Integrally involves community partners
  • Involves a principle-centered partnership between communities and health professions schools.
  • Emphasizes reciprocal learning by intentionally blurring traditional definitions of "faculty," "teacher" and "learner"
  • Emphasizes reflective practice
  • Facilitates the connection between practice and theory and fosters critical thinking
  • Places an emphasis on developing citizenship skills and achieving social change

Citation: Seifer SD. (1998). Service-learning: Community-campus partnerships for health professions education. Academic Medicine, 73(3):273-277.

Teaching Portfolio: "A teaching portfolio is a factual description of a professor's teaching accomplishments." The portfolio includes

  • a statement of teaching responsibilities including both courses and individual instruction,
  • a description of how the course is taught,
  • a reflective statement by the faculty member describing their personal teaching philosophy, strategies and objectives and future goals,
  • representative course syllabi, and
  • learner and peer evaluations of teaching.

Some institutions also use the term 'educator's portfolio.'

Citation: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health Promotion and Tenure manual.

University Service: Finsen (2002) identifies three areas of institutionalized citizenship (that is, internal campus service):

Academic oversight: Faculty service that supports the academic mission of the campus and is tied to faculty expertise. Without faculty contributions in these areas, the academic mission of the campus would suffer. Examples are program review or accreditation, general education, academic advising, faculty evaluation, and academic appeals.

Institutional governance: Faculty support institutional governance roles through decision-making responsibilities that support the campus at the institutional level. Examples are budget oversight, strategic planning, campus assessment, administrative hiring, and mission and goal oversight.

Institutional support: Service in this area supports the overall building and maintenance of campus life and is not tied to faculty disciplinary expertise. Examples are student recruitment, alumni relations, and the cultural arts.

Citation. Ward, K. Faculty Service Roles and the Scholarship of Engagement. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report: Volume 29, Number 5, pg. 55.