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The Future of the Public’s Health in the 21st Century
Expectations—the failure of what it takes to operate in the real world to meet academic standards of scientific rigor.
Other investigators include as barriers perceived threats to a sense of autonomy, disagreement about community needs, conflicts over funding decisions, a lack of consensus about membership criteria or coalition structure, failure to include relevant constituencies, and a lack of leadership (Feighery and Rogers, 1990; Kreuter et al., 2000).
A continuing barrier to scholarly service and one of great concern relates to faculty rewards, promotion, and tenure. Public health practice activities are not generally valued or rewarded by most academic institutions. Israel and colleagues (2001) write that multiple means are needed to provide evidence and recognition of the scholarship of public health practice. They list a number of matters that must be addressed to overcome this barrier. For example, peer-reviewed journals must recognize difficult methodological issues associated with conducting community-based participatory research and should be willing to publish such articles. Universities need to expand their evaluation of reputable journals. Because faculty members may assist communities in preparing grant proposals, these activities should be recognized and valued by academic institutions. Similarly, training activities for and technical assistance to community partners should be given credit toward tenure and promotion.
Efforts are in progress to overcome the institutional lack of recognition of public health practice and service as scholarly endeavors. Maurana and colleagues (2000) report on two evidence-based models for documenting and assessing community scholarship activities. The first model, the Points of Distinction Project, is part of the Outreach Committee of Michigan State University. This model identified quantitative and qualitative indicators of success for four dimensions of quality outreach. The service must have significance, in that the issues addressed are of importance and value to project goals. The context of the service is crucial, in that it should have a close fit with the environment, use appropriate expertise and methods, have a substantial degree of collaboration, and use resources sufficiently and creatively. The scholarship of the service should demonstrate appropriate application, generation, and use of knowledge. Lastly, the service should be able to demonstrate that it has influence on issues, institutions, and individuals.
The second model is the Competency-Based Model of Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This model divides scholarly activity into four competencies, each of which specifies skills, activities, and requirements