Students promoting economic development and environmental sustainability

Cheryl Keen (Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio, USA)
Elizabeth Baldwin (Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, USA)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Publication date: 1 December 2004


Community‐based research has been suggested as a particularly effective form of service learning in college‐community collaborations. This paper reviews findings from interviews with alumni/ae and community partners of an environmental and economic sustainability center at Allegheny College in Northwest Pennsylvania, the Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED). CEED's community‐based research projects have spanned the natural and social sciences to analyze water quality, reduce waste streams and local energy consumption, identify environmental problems and enhance forest management. Interviews with alumni/ae point to the valued real world experience, enhanced cognitive development, and improved communication skills for students. Community partners valued new information and networks resulting from research and stressed the contribution they were making to college students' learning. Community‐based research projects can benefit from interviewees' recommendations to increase continuity, clarity of purpose, and follow‐through in projects, while maximizing opportunities for dialogue between community partners and students. Community‐based research may have a strong contribution to make to students' cognitive, academic, social, civic and career development.



Keen, C. and Baldwin, E. (2004), "Students promoting economic development and environmental sustainability", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 384-394.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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