Points of Distinction: A Guidebook for Planning and Evaluating Quality Outreach (1996)

Committee on Evaluating Quality Outreach

As higher education becomes more engaged with the communities it serves, well-planned outreach initiatives become increasingly important. But tools for planning and assessing the quality and impact of outreach efforts have been limited. Such planning and assessment are necessary to support and achieve standards of high quality and to evaluate faculty work for promotion and tenure and various accrediting bodies.

With Points of Distinction: A Guidebook for Planning and Evaluating Quality Outreach, a faculty group at Michigan State University has developed helpful tools to assist academic units, faculty, and the higher education community plan, monitor, evaluate, and reward outreach efforts. Published in 1996 and revised in 2000, this 50-page guidebook is divided into three sections: The Academic Unit: Planning and Evaluating the Outreach Enterprise; The Individual: Planning and Evaluating Faculty Outreach Efforts; and The Project: Evaluating Quality Outreach. A four-page matrix describes the dimensions of quality outreach: significance, context, scholarship, and impact. An appendix includes tools for defining outreach, unit planning and priority setting, rewarding quality outreach, evaluating unit outreach, developing a faculty outreach portfolio, and evaluating individual outreach.