Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 3-8-2023

Publication Title








Publisher Name

IUPUI Office of Community Engagement


This paper shares narratives regarding an institutional effort to build a sustainable partnership with schools and communities. Loyola University Chicago has developed and strengthened partnerships with eight community schools in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) District over the past decades to promote equity and social justice in the urban context. The sustainability of partnerships is an ongoing issue in university-assisted community schools. Guided by poststructuralist versions of narrative research, the five authors write and share memories about their engagement in university partnerships with communities and schools. This paper explores the “how” of partnerships rather than reiterating strategies of “what works” in partnerships. The authors articulate the complexity of community partnerships and crucial elements to consider for advancing partnerships. As examples, the authors explore the creation of a field-based teacher education program (Teaching, Learning, and Leading with Schools and Communities; TLLSC) as well as a community-centered, justice-oriented graduate program (Curriculum, Culture, and Communities; 3Cs). These degree programs focus on educating students as research practitioners in the ongoing sustainable support and collaboration among schools, universities, and communities. An asset-based frame is employed across narratives in developing and implementing degree programs and offering core courses. The subjectivities of each author enrich the conversations on ongoing efforts to build sustainable, trust-based partnerships. Drawing from our narratives, the authors hope PK-20 educators, university leaders, and community leaders collaboratively and critically reflect on their practices in partnership and utilize some of our narratives and themes as starting points of an ongoing conversation. Overall, this paper contributes to extending the approach to community partnership and equity-oriented education, highlighting the value of university-community partnerships for local schools and institutional efforts.


ISSN 2641-5348 (online)


Copyright © 2023 Seungho Moon, Jon Schmidt, Anna Press, Dave Ensminger, Mitch Hendrickson. The definitive version of this article was published in Engage! Vol. 5 No. 1 (2023): Student Voices, .

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License