Article Type

Case Studies & Applied Research


There is a growing effort to more intentionally situate higher education as an anchor institution within a larger regional, social, political, and economic ecosystem. This paper describes the civic process and outcomes of a community inquiry that considered the relationship between general education programming at comprehensive universities and the trajectory of regional economies. The community inquiry leveraged intergroup dialogue techniques to provide a unique community perspective on potential ways general education can inform engaged learning economies. The result of this community inquiry and dialogue highlight three broad themes that could connect general education programs to engaged learning economies in other regions: campus-community partnerships, logistics of a general education program, and reconsidering the relationship between academic knowledge and soft skills. The results section describes, summarizes, and analyzes the proceedings from the perspective of community.