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Planning for Higher Education Journal

Planning for Community Engagement

Drexel University Creates the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships
Journal Cover
From Volume 43 Number 1 | October–December 2014
By Jennifer Britton, Kevin W. Aires
Planning Types: Campus Planning

This article outlines the conception and creation of the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships at Philadelphia’s Drexel University. It details the university’s goal of becoming an academic leader in civic engagement through the transformation of an off-campus site of existing historic structures into a center for outreach services.
The discussion of the center’s implementation is divided into four sections to present a comprehensive description of its planning process, funding, and design:
- Planning for community engagement
- The idea: developing an extension center at a private urban university
- Creating a physical hub for neighborhood engagement
- Planning the facility
The article closes with a report on early outcomes that have been identified: the introduction of community dinners, the creation of a stakeholder advisory council, and the establishment of volunteer committees that are planning to host a visioning event that will feature a creative building process along with an opportunity for participants to review and revise the vision and goals outlined during the original planning process.

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