Community of Practice

Community engagement is an institutional priority at the University of Pittsburgh, supported in many ways and by many units. The Provost’s Office works closely with the Office of Community & Governmental Relations to undertake activities that advance, elevate and celebrate the practices of community engagement.

There are three initiatives that the Office of the Provost is currently supporting toward our institutional efforts to deepen and enhance community engagement. We are working in coordination with Office of Community and Governmental Relations (CGR) staff to:

  • Convene staff across campus who support outreach and engagement. 
  • Institutionalize the Community-Engaged Scholarship Forum (CESF).
  • Define course attributes that will be used to track community engagement in the curriculum.

The Staff Community of Practice is open to those who support their unit’s implementation of community engagement. Co-facilitated by Jamie Ducar, director of community engagement and Julia Spears, associate vice provost of academic innovation, the goal of the community is three-fold:

  1. To build a network of community engagement practitioners who can support and mentor one another,
  2. To advance community engagement at Pitt, and
  3. To strengthen your practice of community engagement.

What is a community of practice? A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals. Communities of practice often focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to advance a domain of professional practice. Interaction on an ongoing basis is an important part of this. Many communities of practice rely on face-to-face meetings as well as web-based collaborative environments to communicate, connect and conduct community activities.

The first meeting will be held from 11am to 1pm on Wednesday November 13th in the Kurtzman room of William Pitt Union, lunch will be provided. Even if you are unable to make our initial convening, please fill out the following Qualtrics survey in order to indicate your interest in participating. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jamie Ducar at jamieducar@pitt.edu. To read more about the Community of Practice, see this @Pitt article. Please forward this to colleagues at the University who you feel should be invited to join this community. If their work brings together the university and the community for collaborative, partnered work, then they are most welcome.