Date of Award
Franklin A. Tuitt, Ph.D.
Eastern Cultures, Egypt, Mixed Methods, Scholarship of Engagement, Service-Learning Partnerships, The American University in Cairo
This mixed method study aimed to redress the gap in the literature on academic service-learning partnerships, especially in Eastern settings. It utilized Enos and Morton's (2003) theoretical framework to explore these partnerships at the American University in Cairo (AUC). Seventy-nine community partners, administrators, faculty members, and students from a diverse range of age, citizenship, racial, educational, and professional backgrounds participated in the study. Qualitative interviews were conducted with members of these four groups, and a survey with both close-ended and open-ended questions administered to students yielded 61 responses. Qualitative analyses revealed that the primary motivators for partners' engagement in service-learning partnerships included contributing to the community, enhancing students' learning and growth, and achieving the civic mission of the University. These partnerships were characterized by short-term relationships with partners' aspiring to progress toward long-term commitments. The challenges to these partnerships included issues pertaining to the institution, partnering organizations, culture, politics, pedagogy, students, and faculty members. Key strategies for improving these partnerships included institutionalizing service-learning in the University and cultivating an institutional culture supportive of community engagement. Quantitative analyses showed statistically significant relationships between students' scores on the Community Awareness and Interpersonal Effectiveness scales and their overall participation in community service activities inside and outside the classroom, as well as a statistically significant difference between their scores on the Community Awareness scale and department offering service-learning courses. The study's outcomes underscore the role of the local culture in shaping service-learning partnerships, as well as the role of both curricular and extracurricular activities in boosting students' awareness of their community and interpersonal effectiveness. Cultivating a culture of community engagement and building support mechanisms for engaged scholarship are among the critical steps required by public policy-makers in Egypt to promote service-learning in Egyptian higher education. Institutionalizing service-learning partnerships at AUC and enhancing the visibility of these partnerships on campus and in the community are essential to the future growth of these collaborations. Future studies should explore factors affecting community partners' satisfaction with these partnerships, top-down and bottom-up support to service-learning, the value of reflection to faculty members, and the influence of students' economic backgrounds on their involvement in service-learning partnerships.
Shalabi, Neivin Mahmoud Marzouk, "Multiple Perspectives on Academic Service-Learning Partnerships at the American University in Cairo: A Mixed Method Study" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 924.
Received from ProQuest
Neivin Mahmoud Marzouk Shalabi
Higher Education, Islamic Culture, Education