Community Engagement

Community Engagement at MacEwan University

In late 2014, the Community Engagement Working Group (CEWG) was tasked with providing Academic Planning and Priorities Committee (APPC) an initial set of community engagement definitions as part of MacEwan's preliminary efforts to establish a clear direction for formalizing an understanding of community engagement across the institution.

In May 2015, the CEWG returned to APPC with a set of definitions and an accompanying framework intended to capture the range of community engagement activities at MacEwan.

After being presented with CEWG's draft report, APPC requested that CEWG seek feedback on this work from MacEwan's faculty councils. The working group spent several months engaged in the consultation process and revised the definitions and framework to reflect the feedback received.

At the June 2016, Academic Governance Council (AGC) approved the recommendations and framework of the CEWG final report, as recommended by APPC (motion number AGC-07-06-07-2016). Read the Community Engagement Working Group Final Report as uploaded to the AGC website.

Community Engagement Framework

The Community Engagement Working Group prepared and revised a framework for community engagement.

Read the framework »

Definitions of Community Engagement

While many of the definitions are standard across several post-secondary institutions, MacEwan's adoption of those isn't final: these definitions and the accompanying framework are intended to be dynamic and may shift as the next iteration of APPC's working group continues to consider how the MacEwan community engages with the larger community.


Community engagement

The “collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” (The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (n.d.). Classification Description: Community Engagement Classification. Retrieved from

Community Outreach (CO)

“Outreach has traditionally been associated with the dissemination of information to public audiences. Such dissemination has taken numerous forms but it is typically one-way communication rather than an exchange. Engagement implies a partnership and a two-way exchange of information, ideas, and expertise as well as shared decision-making.” (Jordan C. (Editor) (2007). Community-Engaged Scholarship Review, Promotion & Tenure Package.
Peer Review Workgroup, Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborative, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. Complete document available at

Community Service (CS)

“The engagement of students in activities where the primary emphasis is on the service being provided and the primary intended beneficiary is clearly the service recipient.” (From Minnesota State, taken from Campus Compact. (2003). Service-Learning: A Balanced Approach to Experiential Education by Andrew Furco. In Introduction to Service-Learning Toolkit: Readings and Resources for Faculty (2nd ed., pp. 11-14). Providence: Brown University.)

Community Service Learning (CSL)

CSL “is an educational approach that integrates service in the community with intentional learning activities. Within effective CSL efforts, members of both educational institutions and community organizations work together toward outcomes that are mutually beneficial.” (Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning)

Community-Engaged Scholarship (CES)

“involves the researcher in a mutually beneficial partnership with the community and results in scholarship deriving from teaching, discovery, integration, application or engagement.” (Jordan C. (Editor) (2007). Community-Engaged Scholarship Review, Promotion & Tenure Package.
Peer Review Workgroup, Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborative, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. Complete document available at

Community-Based Research

“creating and mobilizing knowledge for action by communities, civil society, policy makers, and stakeholders in all of the key areas affecting the future social, economic, and environmental sustainability of Canada. It engages communities and their citizens in the creation, design, implementation and use of research to meet their needs.” (Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship. Retrieved from Canada)

Community Development 

Community development is a process through which community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. Community well-being (economic, social, environmental and cultural) often evolves from this type of collective action being taken at a grassroots level and often with support and/or partnership from public, private and not-for profit institutions and government agencies. (Adapted from Peer Net BC:


When community is defined through physical location, it has precise boundaries that are readily understood and accepted by others. Communities can also be defined by common cultural heritage, cultural practice, language, and beliefs or shared interests. (Adapted from Peer Net BC:


While it has traditionally been defined as growth and expansion, "development" may no longer always have growth as a target outcome. Instead other development outcomes may include increased capacity (educational, technical, social, cultural) , sustainability, resiliency, and well-being.
(Adapted from Peer Net CD:

External Relations

External Relations is comprised of units from the University who represent and market the institution to external stakeholders, including the following:

  • Office of the President
  • Fund Development
  • Continuing Education
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Corporate Communications
  • Web Services
  • Community Engagement
  • Government Relations
  • Student Recruitment (domestic and international)
  • Alumni Services
  • Sport and Wellness
  • Office of the University Registrar

Social Sustainability

Social sustainability occurs when the formal and informal processes, systems, structures and relationships actively support the capacity of current and future generations to create healthy and liveable communities. Socially sustainable communities are equitable, diverse, connected and democratic and provide a good quality of life.
McKenzie, S. (2004). Social Sustainability: Towards some definitions. Hawke Research Institute Working Paper Series No 27.