Category: NOSC

Plans Moving Forward for UA to Host the National Outreach Scholarship Conference





UPDATE: Plans Moving Forward for UA to Host the National Outreach Scholarship Conference

Left: Dr. Samory Pruitt holds a replica of the Olympic Torch as a reminder that The University of Alabama will be the host of the National Outreach Scholarship Conference in 2012. Dean Carolyn Dahl, a member of the NOSC 2012 planning committee, presented the torch to Dr. Pruitt at the 2010 CCBP Awards Program.

In 2007, The University of Alabama became the first non-land-grant institution voted into the National Outreach Scholarship Conference. And in 2012 we are scheduled to host this largest conference in the engaged scholarship field. In just four years we have developed our engagement agenda so that today we are recognized as one of the leading engaged institutions in the nation. We have obtained that recognition by remaining true to our motto, “Engaging Communities and Changing Lives.”

The NOSC 2012 planning committee has selected “Partner. Inspire. Change.” as its theme. The committee chose this theme after considering many proposals from on and off campus. We believe it will provide an exciting framework for universities and their community partners from all over the country to demonstrate how colleges can work with communities to improve both. The dates of the conference are September 30 through October 3.

In the process of becoming a national leader in engaged scholarship, we have brought together community partners and university faculty, staff, and students in hundreds of ongoing projects. We have also launched what many consider the leading research journal in the field, the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, a feature magazine, PARTNERS, that tells the local engaged scholarship story, and several websites that help to keep all parties informed about our progress.

Areas in which we have applied the engaged scholarship concept include education, engineering, medicine, nursing, health/nutrition, communication, journalism, local produce, veterans services, business, youth leadership, community festivals, entrepreneurship, ethics, social work, literacy, creative writing, and others.

The old model of teaching, research, and service as separate entities has given way to one in which community leaders and rank and file citizens, plus faculty, staff, and students "” undergraduate as well as graduate "” come together in a process in which all groups collaborate, contribute, achieve, and learn from each other.

CCBP’s purpose is multifold:

  • to enrich and improve teaching, research/creative activity, and service through engaged scholarship
  • to create an engaged university that is local, national, and international in its outreach
  • to prepare educated, engaged citizens
  • to strengthen community economies, democratic values, and civic responsibilities
  • to apply these ideas and practices in diverse settings

In 2008, the University applied for and was approved for the Carnegie Foundation’s classification in Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships, the most comprehensive of several Carnegie elective classifications. That successful application guarantees recognition of our University as a leader in this new area of comprehensive scholarship that combines teaching, research, and service.

But all the news about engaged scholarship is not good; we still have much work to do. A 2007 article in the Chronicle of Higher Education said despite strong interest among colleges and universities in the new classification, few institutions have aligned promotion, tenure, and hiring polices that reward scholars’ work in community-engaged scholarship.

A copy of our final report can be found at See our full Carnegie Engagement Application at

In connection with NOSC 2012, Dr. Cassandra Simon, editor of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES), has called for a special edition of JCES based on the conference theme “Partner. Inspire. Change.” For more about this special edition, see JCES Call for Manuscripts.

We are advised and led in this work by an active Council composed of faculty, staff, students, and community partners from many disciplines, occupations, and backgrounds (see As you click through our website, we hope you will see an area of interest to you. Get in touch with us to consider joining the thriving engaged scholarship movement here at UA If you see an area that is missing, let us know.
Just e-mail any one of the directors "” Dr. Heather Pleasants (, Dr. Ed Mullins ( or Mr. Christopher Spencer (, or call us at 205-348-7392.

Members of the NOSC 2012 planning committee are Gary Creek, Dean Carolyn Dahl, Janet Griffith, Dr. Ed Mullins, Dr. Samory Pruitt, Leonard Smith, Cresandra Smothers, Sea Talantis, and Joanne Terrell.

Dr. Samory Pruitt
Vice President of Community Affairs
President of the CCBP Council
The University of Alabama