The Prickly Embrace of Engaged Scholarship: What it Means to do Research in an Urban Secondary (6-12) School

Mary Beth Schaefer, Lourdes M. Rivera


This paper describes how two professors struggled with traditional and non-traditional approaches to scholarship in order to understand how they could best serve students in a new secondary school (grades 6-12) while fulfilling expectations for tenure and promotion. Using methods related to reflexive autoethnography, the authors explore the rewards and challenges of building a partnership between a college and school that enabled the development of a comprehensive and systemic college and career readiness program called the Career Institute (CI). The professors explore the tensions that arose when they tried to both build and study this program. Over time, the professors realized that in order for the program to be important and meaningful for students, they themselves needed to develop a non-traditional approach to scholarship that was engaged, responsive, and service-oriented. Accordingly, they developed a model from which to theorize about the goals and aims of community-engaged scholarship: “Community-engaged scholarship” creates, explores and extends research as it is valued by, valued for, and valued with. 


Engaged scholarship; service; college and career readiness; college-school partnership

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