Definition of Outreach

The definition of outreach is based on the Faculty Senate "Uniscope" report and includes the following:

Outreach in research includes intellectual, creative, and problem-solving interactions between the college and external constituencies. This includes technology transfer, policy review, creative works in the arts, and other events involving information discovery and/or disseminating the results of the discovery between the college and outside audiences.

For example:

  • Publishing a book of poetry is research; giving a reading to the Erie community is outreach.
  • Completing a funded research project and publishing a paper related to international banking with a colleague at another institution is research; hosting a workshop for the financial community to disseminate the results is outreach.
  • Completing educational research related to new pedagogical strategies for secondary school chemistry education is research; going into the high schools to assist teachers in the implementation of those strategies is outreach.
  • Private consulting can be considered outreach.
  • Creating a new plastic material as part of an industry-sponsored grant is research; conducting a fee-for-service project to improve an existing product design for a company is outreach.

Outreach in education includes using teaching or demonstration skills in an area of expertise to shape intentionally the potential of individuals or groups outside of the college community. Outreach in education may affect others' intellectual, creative, or problem-solving skills and includes technology transfer, policy review, creative works in the arts, and other events involving information dissemination between the college and outside audiences.

For example:

  • Teaching a traditional resident class is education; teaching a customized program through Continuing Education is outreach.
  • Guest lecturing in a colleague's class at Behrend is education; guest lecturing at another college or high school is outreach.
  • Applying a project-based pedagogical approach to a class in business logistics is education; presenting a similar lecture for managers at a local company is outreach.

Outreach in service includes service to communities, governments, corporations, professional organizations, learned societies, and other external constituencies. Activities may include task forces, public hearings, professional performances, and other events that are based on the expertise of the faculty member(s) involved.

For example:

  • Membership on faculty senate is service; leadership in the Society for Applied Anthropology is outreach.
  • Membership on a church board is not outreach (unless your faculty expertise is related to religion); membership on the board of a bank is outreach, especially for a faculty member in economics or finance.
  • Leading a performance of the jazz band at the bayfront is outreach; forming an ad hoc band for an alumni reunion on campus is service.