Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education, Higher Education

First Advisor

Judy Marquez Kiyama, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Cecilia Orphan

Third Advisor

Laura Sponsler

Fourth Advisor

Erin Willer


Civic engagement, Community engagement, Community-university partnerships, Education, Partnership impact, Public good


The field and movement of community engagement in higher education is one way for institutions of higher education to fulfill the public good mission. Community engagement practices have shifted to valuing democratically engaged partnerships between the community and campus (Saltmarsh, Hartley, & Clayton, 2009). However, the research on community engagement reveals a lack of understanding of community voice and perspective on if and how community-campus partnerships make a difference for community-based organizations partnered with institutions of higher education. This embedded case study begins to fill these gaps in the literature by examining the voice and perspective of community-based organizations partnered with a university in the Mountain West region of the United States. The conceptual framework borrows from theories of Dewey (1916) and Freire (1970, 1985), and democratic engagement (Saltmarsh et al., 2009), and practices of asset-based community development (Kretzmann & McKnight, 1993; Green & Haines, 2012) and consensus organization (Eichler, 2007). Findings provide important insights on the barriers and support systems that community-based organizations experience when partnering with institutions of higher education. The centrality of relationships is a salient finding from this study. These findings begin to shed light on community-university partnerships can be measured. Findings hold important implications for current practices in institutions of higher education, for the field of community engagement, and the theories that guide these practices.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Stacey D. Muse


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

250 p.


Higher education