Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 36.75
Liaison Audrey McSain
Submission Date July 10, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Lehigh University
EN-13: Community Stakeholder Engagement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Dale Kochard
Asst Vice President
Community & Regional Affairs
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted a framework for community stakeholder engagement in governance, strategy and operations?:
Yes

A brief description of the policies and procedures that ensure community stakeholder engagement is applied systematically and regularly across the institution’s activities:

The Directory of the Community Service Office and the Asst. VP of Community and Regional Affairs serve on the Board of local organizations who serve economically distressed residents in an effort to stay engaged and remain knowledgeable about the needs of the community.

All community-based research projects undergo IRB review and approval to assure underrepresented groups are protected.


A brief description of how the institution identifies and engages community stakeholders, including any vulnerable or underrepresented groups:

The Directory of the Community Service Office and the Asst. VP of Community and Regional Affairs serve on the Board of local organizations who serve economically distressed residents in an effort to stay engaged and remain knowledgeable about the needs of the community.

All community-based research projects undergo IRB review and approval to assure underrepresented groups are protected.


List of identified community stakeholders:

• Bethlehem Community Collaborative
• Bethlehem Mayor's South Side Task Force
• Bethlehem Public Library - Southside
• Boys and Girls Club of Bethlehem
• Broughal Middle School
• City of Bethlehem (Police, Fire, DCED, Parks, etc.)
• Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley
• Cops ‘N Kids
• Donegan Elementary School
• Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley
• Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley
• New Bethany Ministries
• Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley
• Victory House
• YWCA Bethlehem


A brief description of successful community stakeholder engagement outcomes from the previous three years:

The Community and Regional Affairs office organizes a Community and Club EXPO the first day of class each academic year to engage Lehigh’s students with the many businesses and organizations that operate proximate to campus. They sponsor several events in the community that serve to integrate the campus and local community in a social setting. They serve on local boards and committees to assure the community’s interests are considered in Lehigh’s operation. Lehigh’s events are listed on the Campus Calendar and are communicated directly to encourage community engagement.

The Community Service Office coordinates a series of programs throughout the academic year that engages Lehigh students directly in the local schools, agencies, government, and social organizations. They hold monthly programs on campus to bring families to the campus and each semester they hold a major program that attracts over 1000 youth and their families to campus for entertaining and educational programming. Lehigh has partnered with a local Elementary and Middle School as the lead partner in a Community School model. A Lehigh employee is assigned to each school and works directly with the Principal, teachers and staff to develop and implement after school programing that will encourage and enhance academic performance at the school. Both schools are located in an economically distressed neighborhood as evidence by the fact each school has over 90% of their students on the free or reduced lunch program. A unique annual program, “Livin’ la Vida Lehigh”, invites students from this local Middle School to spend a day with Lehigh students going to class, lunch and participating in activities to illustrate what it is like to attend college. Our work with the local Community Schools has resulted in improvements in the academic indicators that will eventually lead to academic achievement. We have seen increased participation among students in the afterschool programs that leads to increased academic performance. Discipline cases are down and student attendance is up. Parental engagement has increased dramatically, especially in the Elementary School. We have seen as a direct result of our community school involvement that parent engagement has increased almost 400%. (391% to be exact). Additionally Donegan elementary school's score in the PA performance profile has increased to 67.7 percent. Lehigh provided 8,000 tutor hours last year at our community schools. We are vigilantly checking our attendance and tracking chronic absenteeism and tardiness. We have over 117 after school programs at our schools and over 50 kids engaged.

The South Side Initiative (SSI) is an academic program that brings together Lehigh University faculty, students and staff with the people of Bethlehem in order to share knowledge, foster democracy, and improve the quality of life in Bethlehem. SSI does this by developing courses focused on the past, present and possible future of the city. They support working groups within the community to conduct ongoing research and they sponsor events such as public forums, visiting lectures, film series, public art and public history projects.

The Community Fellows Program matches graduate students in our College of Arts and Sciences with non-profit organizations for a year. The student commits 15 hours per week toward meaningful projects for the organization while taking courses toward a masters’ degree. As an example, we currently have a student working with the Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley researching specific data involving youth in the City of Bethlehem and organizing community meetings to share that information with the residents of Bethlehem. The objective is to solicit input from the residents as to where a Bethlehem Promise Neighborhood should be created. Another student is working with the City researching and cataloging vacant properties in a portion of Bethlehem in an effort to create a baseline evaluation for their community development efforts.


The website URL where information about the institution’s community stakeholder engagement framework and activities is available:

Other website URL where information about the institution’s community stakeholder engagement framework and activities is available:
http://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/service
https://ssi.cas2.lehigh.edu/
http://community_fellows.cas2.lehigh.edu/

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