Service learning; service learning; academic service learning; community based learning; community based research; carnegie community engagement classification; community engaged learning; community service learning; electronic service learning; international service learning; new england resource center for higher education; private liberal arts college; private teaching university; public research university; root cause analysis; research service learning; institutionalization of service learning; institutionalizing service learning; institutionalizing service learning in higher education; intra institutional comparisons; intra institutional comparative analysis; inter institutional comparisons; inter institutional comparative analysis; participatory excellence


Service-learning, with a longstanding history in American higher education (Burkhardt & Pasque, 2005), includes three key tenets: superior academic learning, meaningful and relevant community service, and persistent civic learning (McGoldrick and Ziegert, 2002). The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has created an elective classification system – Carnegie Community Engagement Classification – for institutions of higher education to demonstrate the breadth and depth of student involvement and learning through partnerships and engagement in the community (Dalton & Crosby, 2011; Hurtado & DeAngelo, 2012; Kuh et al., 2008; Pryor, Hurtado, Saenz, Santos, & Korn, 2007). Community engagement "is in the culture, commonly understood practices and knowledge, and (CCEC helps determine) whether it is really happening – rhetoric versus reality" (J. Saltmarsh, personal communication, August 11, 2014). The study considers the applications of three Carnegie Community Engagement Classification designated institutions to understand the institutionalization of service-learning over time by examining the 2008 designation and 2015 reclassification across institution types – a Private Liberal Arts College, a Private Teaching University, and a Public Research University located in the same metropolitan area. Organizational Change Theory was used as a theoretical model. Case study methodology was used in the present qualitative research to perform document analysis with qualitative interviews conducted to elucidate the data from the 2008 and 2015 CCEC applications from the three institutions. Using intra- and inter-comparative analysis, this study highlights approaches, policies, ethos, and emerging concepts to inform how higher education institutions increase the quality and quantity of service-learning opportunities that benefit higher education practitioners as well as community leaders.


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Graduation Date





Cox, Thomas


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Child, Family, and Community Sciences

Degree Program

Education and Human Performance








Release Date

August 2015

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic

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