ESC 2025 Strategic Plan

As a follow up to its successful ESC 20/20 Strategic Action Plan, the Engagement Scholarship Consortium initiated a strategic planning process in 2022 to clarify its priorities for the next five years. On September 20th, 2022, at its meeting during the annual ESC International Conference, the Consortium’s board of directors formally adopted the ESC 2025 Strategic Plan, which outlines the organization’s vision, mission, values, and strategic priorities.


ESC is recognized as the premier organization that promotes engaged scholarship and mutually beneficial university-community partnerships with the ultimate goal of societal impact and improving lives.


ESC advances the capacity of member institutions—faculty, staff, students, and administrators—to promote engaged scholarship in partnership with communities to benefit society through meaningful impact.


The strategic priorities and action steps outlined in ESC 2025 are guided by a set of core values. These values are the foundation of the implementation of the plan.

  1. Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are centered in all work, particularly in attention to power differences, resource distribution, and systemic change.
  2. Collaboration and co-creation are key.
  3. Community-university partnerships should be embedded in scholarship for meaningful change.
  4. Engaged scholarship and those who do it should be valued, recognized, and rewarded.

ESC 2025 Strategic Priorities

The focus of ESC 2025 Strategic Plan is the four strategic priorities that are designed to build the capacity of faculty, staff, and students who do the work in partnership with communities and the administrators and institutions who support them.

1. Developing and Valuing people

Expand capacity, recognition, and opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and communities doing engaged scholarship.

  • Create a standing Education and Resource Committee to foster this critical element of ESC’s mission
  • Administer programs that create opportunities and recognitions
    • Create opportunities to work with communities on research and creative activities through the ESC grants program
    • Recognize the engaged scholarship of faculty, staff, students, and community partners through the ESC awards program
    • Provide presentation and publication venues for engaged scholarship through the ESC annual meeting; The Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement; The Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship; list of relevant journals on website
  • Offer ongoing professional development opportunities to build capacity for engaged scholarship
    • Conduct the ESC annual conference pre-conference workshops: Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop, Outreach and Engagement Professionals Network Workshop
    • Develop program of virtual learning offerings throughout the year that builds on existing workshops at member institutions
    • Explore additional models of professional development
    • Disseminate learning opportunities offered by other institutions and organizations
  • Share resources that will support the practice of engaged scholarship, dissemination for impact, and career advancement
  • Increase student involvement opportunities and programming

2. Empowering Leaders

Create forums and learning for outreach and engagement leaders to advance engaged scholarship at their home institutions and communities.

  • Offer professional development opportunities designed to assist leaders in their outreach and engagement missions
    • Partner with the Academy for Engagement Leaders to conduct a pre-conference workshop at the ESC annual conference
    • Implement virtual learning/discussion offerings throughout the year that address institutional issues of interest to leaders
  • Provide regular forum for leaders for connecting, sharing, and brainstorming
  • Share resources that will support leaders in enacting their unit and institutional efforts around outreach and engagement

3. Connecting and Sharing

Expand networking and sharing opportunities for faculty, staff, students, leaders, and community partners committed to addressing societal issues through community-engaged scholarship.

  • Create listserve or other forum where members can ask questions and seek input
  • Work with OEPN to assess feasibility of building a connected community of OE professionals (i.e., “my people”)
  • Identify ways to engage community partners in ESC

4. Stewardship

Strengthen ESC’s organizational effectiveness and impact.

  • Develop value proposition for recruitment and member advocacy with administration and constituents
  • Increase membership by 30%
    • Determine whether to create an individual membership structure in addition to institutional membership
    • Leverage board members for membership recruitment
  • Create communications plan to regularly update all levels of constituents about
  • ESC activities
  • Develop partnerships with other organizations
    • Create Partnership Committee
    • Develop MOUs for collaborative activities with other organizations
  • Review ESC policies, practices, and programs to ensure that they explicitly infuse
  • diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice
  • Strengthen formal policies and practices
    • Update bylaws and develop a separate operations manual
    • Review region categories
    • Review pricing model
    • Review sponsorship policies
    • Review and revise document repository practices
  • Strengthen infrastructure
    • Contract with proposal review and conference registration system
    • Determine whether to hire a conference planner and if so, implement process
    • Conduct analysis to estimate number of members needed to fund a staff member or to expand conference scholarships/grants/programming

Download the Full 2025 Strategic Plan