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Caribbean Journal of Education

Presentation Abstract: Aligning Colleges and Universities with Local Social Engagement in Under-resourced Communities in the Caribbean

Publication Date: 
April 2016

In the face of transformation driven by technological advancement, global and natural economic uncertainties, and social change, thoughtful leaders of institutions of higher learning have long recognized that being great today isn’t necessarily good enough for tomorrow. To ensure a university or college legacy, school leadership must collaborate with its faculty, students, families, alumni, Board of Directors and the communities in which they are located to look clearly at the core elements that define that school. That is, what makes that school unique, and where the greatest opportunities lie for improvement. In a 2014 review of the mission, vision, and values statements of the Top 40 Colleges & Universities That Change Lives ( there emerged certain characteristics that appear to transcend geographic location, size of student body, or other differences. The three elements of commonality which were noted are institutional commitment to: Innovative teaching and learning employing inquiry and project-based learning as its core; Community engagement which moves beyond problem-based or even service learning and requires transformational institutional leadership (particularly in urban communities where the needs of many are readily evident) and Global citizenship education as an endemic aspect of all student learning.

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