A Community-Based Activities Survey: Systematically Determining the Impact on and of Faculty

  • Lane Perry Western Carolina University
  • Betty Farmer Western Carolina University
  • David Onder Western Carolina University
  • Benjamin Tanner Western Carolina University
  • Carol Burton Western Carolina University
Keywords: Higher Education, Community Engagement, Tracking System


As a descriptive case study from Western Carolina University (WCU), this article describes the development of a measuring, monitoring, and tracking system (the WCU Community-based Activities Survey) for faculty engagement in, adoption of, and impact through community engagement practices both internal and external to their courses. This paper will outline the process for developing and refining the WCU Community-based Activities Survey and will highlight the goals and perspectives that informed the survey design, the approach to administering the survey across the institution, and approaches for generating buy-in from and recognition for faculty. Clearly, an essential element in the equation of institutionalized community engagement is the professoriate, and faculty assessment of mutually beneficial outcomes is imperative. Finally, this paper identifies the transferable lessons learned through the development, distribution, and assessment processes associated with this case and offers both the process and survey as resources to the field of community engagement and service-learning.