Engage San Francisco

Engage San Francisco

Engage San Francisco is an intentional, systematic and transformative university-community initiative that will achieve community-identified outcomes supporting children, youth and families in the Western Addition through student learning, research and teaching consistent with University of San Francisco’s mission and vision 2028. 

Download PDF iconEngage SF Annual Review

The University of San Francisco is well positioned to contribute directly to a more just San Francisco while advancing USF’s core values of social responsibility and a culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person by thoughtfully preparing students, staff and faculty to work collaboratively with the Western Addition, and employing experiential pedagogy such as service-learning and community-based research. This initiative includes faculty, staff and students from all five colleges at USF, (Management, Nursing and Health Professions, Law, Education, and Arts and Sciences), and the Division of Student Life. Engage San Francisco is hyper-local in its focus, asset-based in its philosophy, and multifaceted in its approach as it builds upon existing community partnerships.

Context: The Western Addition and the University of San Francisco are deeply interconnected, not just geographically, but through history and intergenerational relationships. As the City’s first university we are uniquely situated to address issues related to the poverty and inequality in the Western Addition, and we do this work in partnership with residents and service providers to address a lack of access to high quality, affordable housing, healthcare, and education. This initiative draws upon the history of community engagement at the University of San Francisco and recognizes the unique potential of working with residents to achieve community-identified goals.

Contact Karin Cotterman at kmcotterman@usfca.edu and see below for more information on Engage San Francisco.

Download PDF iconWorking Group Plan for Engage San Francisco

Initiative Goals and Strategies

Goal 1: Contribute to and support a vibrant, thriving community for children, youth and families in the Western Addition. To achieve this goal, Engage San Francisco will work in partnership with Western Addition community-based organizations, agencies and offices of the City and County of San Francisco, philanthropists, and community residents to respond to community-identified needs that focus on the strategic areas of emphasis.

  • Strategy #1 Academic Support
  • Outcome 1.1: Western Addition children enter Kindergarten mentally, socially and academically prepared for school
  • Outcome 1.2: Youth residing in Western Addition graduate from high school or receive GEDs and are college or career ready
  • Outcome 1.3: There is an increase in university enrollment and completion for Western Addition residents
  • Outcome 1.4: Western Addition youth become change agents in their own community.
  • Strategy #2 Health Care Delivery
  • Outcome 2.1: Western Addition residents have increased access to preventative health care screening services, including mental health and prenatal care.
  • Outcome 2.2: The chronic health outcomes of Western Addition residents are addressed in an ongoing, systematic manner.
  • Strategy #3 Safe, Affordable Housing
  • Outcome 3.1: More Western Addition Youth reside in safe, affordable housing.
  • Outcome 3.2: Public space in the Western Addition is transformed to reflect the history of the Western Addition.
  • Goal 2: Enhance student learning and faculty research in the Jesuit tradition with key connections to University of San Francisco’s Mission and Vision 2028. Engage San Francisco is inherently an interdisciplinary initiative that strives to be connected to every school and college at USF and include thoughtful preparation for students and faculty to work collaboratively with the Western Addition.

  • Strategy #4 Engage The University of San Francisco
  • Outcome 4.1: Increase in community-based research by faculty with the Western Addition.
  • Outcome 4.2: Increase in service-learning courses with partnerships in the Western Addition.
  • Outcome 4.3: More tenure track professors and more USF students learning about the Western Addition.
  • Key Components of Engage San Francisco

  • Guided by the Mission of the University of San Francisco and Vision 2028
    Engage San Francisco will contribute to an “Academically rigorous experience” that “cultivates mutually enriching relationships with San Francisco”… and “embraces diversity.”
  • Embraces an Asset-Based Model of University and Community Partnerships
    Engage San Francisco will draw upon what USF already does, including community-based research, service-learning classes, and community involvement programs as well as the vitality of children and youth serving organizations and institutions in the Western Addition and throughout San Francisco.
  • Works to Achieve Measurable Community-Identified Outcomes for Children and Youth in the Western Addition
    Engage San Francisco will support the provision of out of school engagement and wraparound services for children and families in the Western Addition through collaboration with community-based organizations and institutions.
  • Engages the Entire University in a Multifaceted and Interdisciplinary Manner
    Engage San Francisco will include and support faculty, students, and staff from the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing and Health Professions, School of Law, and School of Management and Student Life.
  • Cultivates Transformational Partnerships
    Engage San Francisco will foster authentic, democratic, and transformational relationships through long-term commitments and resource sharing, grounded in authentic partnerships.
  • Thoughtfully Prepares Students for Critical Engagement
    Engage San Francisco will embrace a critical approach to student engagement that includes thoughtful, intentional preparation and ongoing reflection to move students from a conception of service as charity to a notion of service as justice.
  • Incorporates Best Practices in Campus-Community Engagement
    Engage San Francisco will draw upon and contribute to nationally recognized models and scholarly literature on best practices in effective engagement with communities.
  • Assessment and Evaluation
    Engage San Francisco will develop outcomes and activities based on community identified needs. Activities will be measurable and assessment and evaluation tools will be used to ensure that strategies are effectively achieving our goals.
  • Conceptual Framework

    Our conceptual framework draws from multiple books and articles focused on community development, asset based partnership, neighborhood focused initiatives, service-learning pedagogy and community-based research methodology. Here are a few key articles the serve as guideposts for our work. A more extensive collection of readings is available at the Leo T. McCarthy Center, contact kmcotterman@usfca.edu for more information.

    Partnerships and Transformation

    Enos, S., and Morton, K. (2003) Developing a theory and practice of campus-community partnerships. 20-41. in Building Partnerships for Service-Learning. Jossey Bass (available at the Leo T. McCarthy Center)

    Hoyt, L. (2010). A city-campus engagement theory from, and for, practice. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Fall 2010, 75-88

    Partnerships and Assets

    Kretzman, J. and McKnight, J. (1993) Building Communities from the Inside Out. The Asset Based Community Development Institute, Chicago Il (available at the Leo T. McCarthy Center)

    Blanchard, A. Building Vibrant Communities: An Appreciative Approach to Working in Neighborhood. (2011). Neighborhood Centers, Inc.

    Partnerships and Social Justice

    Marullo, S., & Edwards, B. (2000). From charity to justice: The potential of university-community collaboration for social change. American Behavioral Scientist

    Kolvenbach, P. (2000) The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit Higher Education