In the changing landscape of higher education in South Africa (and globally), community engagement has increasingly become an important part of the professional portfolio for an academic when submitting an application for a post, tenure or promotion. Given the need to present a clear and well constructed section of your application around community engagement, this brief guide aims to provide some clear guidelines for documenting and reflecting on your community engagement practice as an academic. The process of developing this section of your professional portfolio will also provide space for you to reflect on your own personal development as a community engagement practitioner, which will hopefully allow you to grow and develop new ideas for the way you go about doing your community engagement work within your discipline.
It is important to note that when your community engagement section is being assessed the number of years that you have been involved in structured, strategic and planned community engagement activities will be taken into account. There might be considerable overlap between either your research (in the case of engaged research projects) or teaching (in the case of service-learning courses) sections of your professional portfolios or applications. While your reader will expect some overlap to occur between these sections it will still be important for you to tease out and relate these overlapping aspects to your identity as a community engagement practitioner and the specific strategies you employ in your community engagement activities which you will describe in the community engagement section of your portfolio or application.
One of the key things you need to do in the community engagement section is to give your reader a clear sense of yourself as a community engagement practitioner – what kind of community engagement activities are you participating in, how you approach community engagement and why you do community engagement in the way you do it, that is, what is the philosophy that guides your practice. The document available for download here should give you a guide for structuring the community engagement section of your portfolio or application, but it is not necessary for you to use the headings in the document when writing the section of your application or portfolio up. Innovative and creative ways which showcase your work as a community engagement practitioner are encouraged, and, as with any assessment, it is imperative that you check your final document against the assessment criteria outlined in the personal promotions criteria document available from the HR website and under section 8 of the attached document.
Last Modified: Tue, 23 May 2017 16:19:09 SAST