Evolution of a Profession: A Review of The Community Engagement Professional in Higher Education: A Competency Model for an Emerging Field

Monica M. Kowal


In The Community Engagement Professional in Higher Education: A Competency Model for an Emerging Field, editor Lina D. Dostilio and her co-authors collectively assemble—through rigorous literature reviews and a survey of more than 400 respondents—a comprehensive list of competencies and personal attributes of community engagement professionals (CEPs),  professional staff whose primary role on a university campus is to manage and support a wide spectrum of initiatives around community-campus partnerships. The volume is an important one, both for its attempt to identify the core characteristics and expertise needed to negotiate these increasingly nuanced partnerships and for its ability to illuminate the magnitude of responsibilities and resources that institutions of higher education need to employ in order to successfully impact their surrounding communities.


community engagement professional; service-learning; center director; professional development

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Dostilio, L. D. (2016). The professionalization of community engagement: Associations and professional staff. In T. Mitchell, T. Eatman, & C. Dolgan (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of service learning and community engagement. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

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Jacoby B., & Mutascio, P. (Eds.). (2010). Looking in, reaching out: A reflective guide for community service learning professionals. Boston: Campus Compact.

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Mitchell, T. D. (2008). Traditional vs. critical service-learning: Engaging the literature to differentiate two models. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 14(2), 50-65.


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