Mid-Career Faculty and High Levels of Community Engagement: Intentional Reshaping of Meaningful Careers

Anne M. DeFelippo, Dwight E. Giles, Jr.


This study examined the relationship between vital mid-career faculty and rates of participation in community engagement at three public comprehensive universities in New England.  Specifically, mid-career faculty successfully taught, rendered service within their setting, and conducted some research, but in interviews they described additional meaning and career fulfillment derived from creating and maintaining niches of community engagement focusing on social problems and change. Data from 102 faculty surveys were analyzed in the form of descriptive statistics, correlations, and t-tests.  Data from 30 face-to-face interviews with faculty—all of whom were selected for their high self-vitality ratings as well as gender, rank, and discipline—were coded and assigned themes.  There appeared to be a positive correlation between mid-career faculty who chose to participate in community engagement and high levels of vitality that may be influenced and enhanced by the engagement itself.


community engagement, mid-career faculty, faculty vitality, service-learning

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