This retrospective emergent design qualitative evaluation study documents the development of a unique model for community engagement and engaged scholarship in higher education. The primary novel aspect of the model is participatory involvement of both the target audience for the program and representatives of various stakeholder groups who initiated, conceptualized, tested, assessed, and evaluated the courses and program with the professor. Members of the target audience and stakeholder groups also recruited participants, contributed to refining the courses and program to meet the needs of the stakeholder groups, and contributed to redesigning courses for online learning. The model emerged while developing and evaluating the Informal Science Institutions Environmental Education Graduate Certificate Program (ISI Program) at the University of South Florida. Garnering the resources of a previously untapped audience, the informal science education (ISE) community, presented the university with a way to increase enrollment. Also reported are sample benefits accrued to learners in the program, to the ISI community, to the community at large, and additional benefits to the University.


engaged scholarship, high impact practices, informal science education, graduate certificate programs, professional development, increasing enrollment



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