Community-University Partnerships: Community Engagement for Transformative Learning

  • Fay Fletcher University of Alberta


Recently, various scholars have remarked that university continuing education (UCE) is moving away from one of its original core foci, that of social justice. In this article, the possible causes of this are discussed, including current political environments, the role of universities and academics in perpetuating or disrupting the status quo, and increased reliance on cost recovery and for-profit programming. Community-based participatory research as a feasible strategy for promoting UCE’s role in social justice is also presented. An example of UCE that was developed in response to existing social inequities and driven by discussions with the community is offered to demonstrate that critical voices can have an impact and that institutions of higher education can be collaborative and foster networks of relationships for learning. Finally, key points for the successful development of a UCE program that responds to critical voices and returns to social justice are shared.
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