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The Scholarship of Outreach
Faculty, would you like to:
- develop and deliver a course, either credit or noncredit?
- share research through conferences, workshops, or seminars?
- reach more students by making your classroom instruction available online or through broadcast media?
Outreach works closely with faculty to seamlessly share their expertise with individuals, communities, and businesses all over Pennsylvania and the world.
What are the Benefits of Outreach Work?
Outreach is a two-way process through which the active exchange of information with external audiences occurs. These partnerships enrich the University, its knowledge base, and its faculty and staff by enhancing the teaching and learning process, opening lines of inquiry for research, providing practical experience to students, and creating new sources of funding.
Specifically, Outreach activities can:
- enhance faculty research and scholarly publication
- enrich teaching and learning
- create new opportunities for student learning and career development
- increase faculty visibility and expand research and consulting opportunities
- enhance student and faculty recruiting
- create friends for increased public support and fund-raising
- enhance the University's stature
Outreach Enhances Faculty Research and Scholarly Publication
"Our department is heavily engaged in outreach activities. The outreach activities related to research have definitely enhanced the level of scholarship in the department. These activities have been the subject of many conference presentations as well as scholarly journal publications." —Dr. Eunice N. Askov, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Education; co-director emerita, Goodling Institute for Research in Family Literacy; co-director emerita, Institute for the Study of Adult Literacy
"Regardless of their appointment, all faculty members in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology are expected to engage in outreach activities. Our outreach activities have made an important contribution to guiding research in the department. Much of the research that we conduct is applied research and is directed at real-world problems and policy issues. Faculty involvement in outreach activities has helped them to focus their research on issues of greatest importance to the citizens of the Commonwealth." —Dr. David Blandford, professor of agricultural economics
"Many of our faculty members have engaged in outreach activities in order to enhance their scholarship. These activities give faculty access to test beds for their research, data sets to manipulate, and sabbatical opportunities. These opportunities have led in many cases to scholarly publications and conference presentations." —Dr. Robert Light, associate provost and associate dean, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Outreach Enriches Teaching and Learning
"Faculty in civil and environmental engineering are strong participants in outreach activities, both explicitly and as part of their duty to the profession. Faculty teach many continuing education courses, including design of blast-resistant structures, hydrologic modeling, and professional expert witness training for engineers, to name just a few. Faculty are also regularly engaged in programs through professional societies that contain a mix of practitioners and researchers—for example, the Transportation Research Board and the American Water Works Association. These connections help us build a better curriculum, enhance our research through ties with mission-funding agencies, and allow us to stay in close contact with our alumni." —Dr. Paul P. Jovanis, professor of civil and environmental engineering
"One of our goals is to help teachers incorporate research-based ideas into their classrooms. We believe it is crucial for the University to work closely with school districts to enhance the experience for students with learning disabilities. This partnership is critical if research is to become practice." —Dr. Charles Hughes, professor of education
Outreach Creates Friends for Increased Public Support and Fund-Raising
"As a result of outreach activities, we have a vibrant network of linkages to our alumni and to organizations that hire our graduates. Ongoing consultation with these people is critical to keeping up with what's going on in health care. For that reason we have made major investments in supporting outreach activities, and we continue to explore the potential of linkages with the University's many outreach units." —Dr. Diane Brannon, professor and department head, Department of Health Policy and Administration
"We see outreach as fundamental to our responsibility as professional scholars. The best illustration of outreach in the Department of Geography is our role in the University's World Campus program. We have a multicourse certificate program in geographic information systems that has graduated several classes of students, including many from the U.S. military and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The program built from existing resident instruction courses, drew faculty and staff together to develop new courses, and led to a state-of-the-art approach to delivering asynchronous learning programs worldwide. The program has allowed us to build ties to major software companies that in turn will allow us to place graduates of our resident instruction program into these companies. This outreach activity blends together all of the components of the mission: research, learning, and service." —Dr. Roger M. Downs, professor and department head, Department of Geography