Community engagement education in academic health centers, colleges, and universities

Chyke A. Doubeni, David Nelson, Elizabeth Gross Cohn, Electra Paskett, Seleshi Ayalew Asfaw, Mehek Sumar, Syed M. Ahmed, Rhonda McClinton-Brown, Mark L. Wieland, Anita Kinney, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, Lisa G. Rosas, Cecilia M. Patino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Community engagement (CE) is critical for advancing health equity and a key approach for promoting inclusive clinical and translational science. However, it requires a workforce trained to effectively design, implement, and evaluate health promotion and improvement strategies through meaningful collaboration with community members. This paper presents an approach for designing CE curricula for research, education, clinical care, and public health learners. A general pedagogical framework is presented to support curriculum development with the inclusion of community members as facilitators or faculty. The overall goal of the curriculum is envisioned as enabling learners to effectively demonstrate the principles of CE in working with community members on issues of concern to communities to promote health and well-being. We highlight transformations needed for the commonly used critical service-learning model and the importance of faculty well-versed in CE. Courses may include didactics and practicums with well-defined objectives and evaluation components. Because of the importance of building and maintaining relationships in CE, a preparatory phase is recommended prior to experiential learning, which should be guided and designed to include debriefing and reflective learning. Depending on the scope of the course, evaluation should include community perspectives on the experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere109
JournalJournal of Clinical and Translational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 7 2022


  • Community engagement
  • education
  • health equity
  • pedagogy
  • service learning
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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