Anchor institutions are colleges and universities that, in recognition of the interdependence they share with their host community, collaboratively engage in effort to better their locale. Anchors strategically approach community partnerships and the contribution of institutional assets they provide towards selected efforts that are beneficial to both the community and the institution. The study of these types of citizen institutions are of value because they serve as models of democracy that stand in contrast to the atrophied civic life our country currently suffers. Despite the benefits communities, students, and institutions themselves derive from colleges and universities engaging in an anchor mission, there is currently a lack of recognizable or relatable illustrations of anchor engagement by which to be inspired and after which to emulate. Overcoming this barrier is achieved by offering illustrations of a more representative group of anchor institutions to inspire all types of institutions to adopt an anchor mindset and help build the types of communities that foster a more positive civic life.
Toward that end, the community mission and engagement of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and Central College, in Pella, Iowa were explored through case study methodology to develop a robust understanding of how each institution implements its civic mission and engages in its host community as an anchor institution. With a focus on each institution’s thematic approach to their (a) civic responsibility, (b) democratic engagement, and (c) anchor contributions, a set of key components emerged that serve as foundational underpinnings of the efforts of these two colleges. Specifically, the existence of community values such as trust, networks and assets, dictate how each college and their community partners engage in common purpose actions that seek to address societal issues. That partnership engagement is advanced by Bates and Central through their democratic engagement approach of listening, learning and delivering which weaves through each of the identified themes.
With the identification of these two small, nonurban anchor institutions, the definition of anchor institution is broadened, and more relevant examples of anchor engagement are provided, to inspire replication by more similarly sized and located institutions.
|Advisor:||Hartley, J. Matthew|
|Commitee:||Grossman, David, Meservey, Patricia|
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|Department:||Higher Education Management|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Anchor institution, Civic responsibility, Delivering, Democratic engagement, Learning, Listening|
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