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Unit 2: Creating a Strong Portfolio
Section 2.1: Creating a Strong
Organizing Questions for Your Career Statement
Faculty Tips and Strategies
"How you frame the work is important, especially
in research-intensive universities."
Nearly every academic institution requires its faculty to write a career
statement about his or her scholarly work when being considered for promotion
and tenure. The name for a career statement can vary by institution, department
and area(s) of emphasis (i.e., research statement, practice statement,
personal statement, etc) Regardless of the title, the statement is a unique
opportunity to communicate your professional
vision for your community-engaged scholarship, to frame how your work
has made an impact in communities, and to convey a cohesive focus to your
This section provides you with:
Questions for Your Career Statement
Glassick (1997: 23) is widely cited for a set of criteria he developed
to guide the assessment of a faculty member's scholarly activity. These
- Clear goals
- Adequate preparation
- Appropriate methods
- Significant results
- Effective presentation
- Reflective critique
Driscoll and Sandmann (1999), and then Maurana (2000) built on Glassick's
work and developed a set of guiding questions that faculty can use to
develop their career statements to highlight community-engaged scholarship.
For the purpose of the toolkit, we have further adapted the questions
to assist you in structuring your thinking about your work and to enable
you to effectively communicate your commitment to communities through
your scholarly activities.
At most institutions, faculty are expected to summarize their career
focus and the theoretical framework(s) that guide their work and scholarship.
It is very important for you to clearly state your overall academic focus
and vision and to describe the theoretical foundation for your work. The
Section and for Tips & Strategies
for Developing a Strong Teaching Statement provide additional guidance.
In addition, it is important to provide substantive examples of your community-engaged
scholarship in the statement. The questions below provide a framework
for highlighting one or two programs or projects and your specific involvement
in them. At institutions that emphasize teaching, the teaching statement
may be given a greater or sole focus by your P&T committee. If this
is the case, we suggest applying these strategies for the career statement
to your teaching statement.
Standards for Assessment of Community-Based Scholarship, adapted,
Maurana et al (2000)
Note. We use the term 'partnership' in this box to reflect an
ongoing and sustained relationship you might have with a community
group or organization. The term program can also be changed to research
- What are your goals? Are they clearly stated?
- Did you and your community partner develop goals and objectives
based upon community-identified needs and strengths?
- Did both community and academia consider the needs to be significant
- What is your vision for the future of the partnership(s)?
- What attitudes, knowledge and skills have you used to conduct
the assessment of community needs and assets, and to implement
- How was the development of the program(s) based on the most
recent work in the field?
- How did you consider important economic, social, cultural and
political factors that affect the issue(s) being addressed?
- How did you recognize, respect and incorporate community expertise
into the program(s)?
- Do you describe how the partners been actively involved in each
component of the program (e.g., assessment, planning, implementation,
- What methods did you use to assess the needs and strengths
of the community and how were these based on the most recent work
in the field?
- Has the partnership's work followed a planned process that has
been tested in multiple environments and proven to be effective?
- Have partnerships been developed according the most recent evidence
on building partnerships?
- Do you describe how the methods used are appropriately matched
to the identified needs and strengths with attention to local
circumstances and continuous feedback from the community?
- Does the approach focus on sustainability?
- What lessons did you learn about the program development and
- Does the program reflect the culture of the community?
- Does the work involve innovative and original approaches?
- Did the program result in positive community outcomes, what
were they, and how do you know?
- Did the program result in positive institutional outcomes,
what were they and how do you know?
- Did the program result in positive learner outcomes, what were
they and how do you know?
- Did you develop new theories, models, frameworks or approaches
that can be used by others?
- Did the program generate new resources (e.g., grant funding)
for the program, community or institution, and what were they?
- Is the program being sustained?
- Does the community believe the results are significant and how
do you know?
- How has the work (process and outcomes) of the partnership been
disseminated in the community?
- How has the work (process and outcomes) of the partnership been
disseminated in academic circles?
- How has the community contributed to developing and disseminating
papers, presentations and other dissemination products from the
- How have the results been disseminated in a wide variety of
formats to the appropriate community and academic audiences?
Ongoing Reflective Critique
- What evaluation has occurred?
- How have you thought and reflected about the activity?
- Would the community work with you again? Why?
- Would you work with the community again? Why?
- What lessons have you learned from your community-based work?
- How have these lessons informed your future career plans?
Tips and Strategies
"Every school is different, as is every university.
Talk to the academic dean in your school and ask for guidance in how
to put this together and what should get emphasis."
Project faculty emphasize the need to be thoughtful in framing one's
community-engaged scholarship. Faculty emphasize that "it is important
to help others frame how they see your work." One faculty emphasizes
that one must "describe and organize your evidence and cite literature
that recognizes it as evidence." Faculty also provide a set of strategies
for developing a strong career statement:
- Follow any instructions provided since as noted above, each institution
has a different culture and policies. Keep within the length advised.
- Get advice on how to write your statement from someone in your Department
who was on the P&T committee.
- Ask to review career statements and portfolios of faculty who have
recently been promoted or tenured.
- Work with a mentor who will review and comment on drafts of your statement.
- Provide detail and examples of the impact you have made in your field.
One Full Professor notes:
"I had asked a couple of faculty who had been
promoted and whose work included academic practice, if they would share
their promotion packages with me. I met with the full professors and
showed them my CV for their suggestions on what I was thinking about
for declaring as my 2-3 lines of work, evidence of impact from my work,
and potential external reviewers. For each line of work, I needed to
show continuity and progression through projects, publications (peer
reviewed journals and technical reports), professional presentations
(invited and keynotes). With regard to impact, I needed to show how
products from my work have been adopted and disseminated nationally.
With regard to teaching, I needed to show how I integrated my work into
the courses I teach, the students I advise, and the continuing ed I
conducted. My chair spent time with me going through several drafts
of my statement, mainly to tighten it before showing it to the full
professors. I met with the full professors for a second time for advice
on the presentation of my package. Two of them were either currently
serving or had formerly served on the P&T Committee, and one had
been promoted to full professor under excellence in practice. They were
particularly important in helping me think through evidence of impact."
Please click here
for examples of faculty members' career statement.
Go to Toolkit