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Monday, October 9 • 11:15am - 11:45am
Ten years as a Division of Community Engagement: What? So What? Now What? (30 mins)

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In 2017, the Division of Community Engagement (DCE) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) celebrated its ten year anniversary, offering a unique opportunity to critically reflect and ask ourselves:
• 'What' have the activities and services of the DCE meant to faculty, students, and community partners?
• 'So what' has the existence of a centralized unit done for teaching, research and the public service mission of the university?
• 'Now what' do we do over the next 10 years to continue to add value and promote community and civic engagement at the university?

This reflection allowed us to develop a compelling value proposition for a central academic support unit dedicated to community-academic engagement. In business marketing, a value proposition is a positioning statement that explains how a company provides unique benefit to its customers. We see the development of a value proposition as crucial given the changing context of public, urban institutions of higher education (e.g., changing budget models, demonstration of impact, etc.).

This session utilizes videos of VCU faculty and recent alumni to highlight the "What?' and 'So What?' of the DCE’s contribution to VCU and the community.
We then employ another common business tool, the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, to dive deep into the 'Now What?'

Participants are invited to conduct a mini, action-based SWOT analysis calling upon their own experiences and questions about the future. Participants will leave the session with an action plan for developing their own value proposition.

avatar for Jennifer Early

Jennifer Early

Director Community-Engaged Research, Virginia Commonwealth University
Jennifer Early works in VCU's Division of Community Engagement as director of community-engaged research to support and advance community-engaged research (CEnR) as part of the university's strategic effort to align university-wide community engagement and impact.With over a decade... Read More →
avatar for Catherine Howard

Catherine Howard

Vice Provost, Virginia Commonwealth University Division of Community Engagement

Monday October 9, 2017 11:15am - 11:45am MDT
Colorado A