College of Architecture Texas A&M University


Previous Issue  

Next Issue

College Home

College Calendar

Aggie Daily

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 Media contact:  
 Phillip Rollfing  

LAUP initiates community outreach partnership

New program enhances department outreach, continuing education, project documentation and collaboration



Editor’s note: The following article is from the Spring 2006 issue of Perspectives, the newsletter for the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University.

For many years the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M University has engaged in a wide variety of community service teaching and research projects. LAUP is now expanding these capabilities with a new program, “Partnership for Community Outreach” (PCO), aimed at coordinating service and outreach activities within the department and beyond. Established October 18, 2005, PCO is coordinated by Dr. Michael Murphy.

The program provides an organizational framework leveraging LAUP’s capacity to systematically apply, disseminate, and validate knowledge about functional, healthy, and sustainable human environments. Its primary goal is to systematically link teaching to service and community-based research, thus enriching student learning experiences through the application of knowledge while improving the quality of life through the built and natural environment.

The program focuses on three key initiatives. First among them, “Service Learning Partnerships,” which include the ongoing Target Texas community service program, as well as ad hoc projects conducted by various classes. These learning partnership projects are community-based teaching and research projects that provide research, preliminary planning and design studies for communities and groups who would otherwise be unable to afford professional services.

The second PCO initiative, “Continuing Education,”includes distance education and onsite seminars aimed at improving the department’s ability to bring contemporary research findings directly to audiences such as professional organizations and local communities.

The third PCO component, “Outreach Academy,” was created to document, publish and archive projects for future reference and publicity. Because documentation of most community outreach initiatives is usually inappropriate for publication in professional journals, the goal of the Outreach Academy is to produce more accessible documents through a technical monograph series or service bulletins intended for a professional rather than an academic audience. Additionally, the Outreach Academy will sponsor lectures and seminars to enhance institutional connections with Texas A&M research centers.

The PCO’s ultimate goal is to advance department and College of Architecture outreach initiatives in support of the Texas A&M’s tri-partite mission of discovery, teaching, and service. For a multidisciplinary department such as LAUP, the program provides an opportunity to advance the scholarship of disciplinary integration through collaborative knowledge creation and application throughout the department, college and university.


- The End -

^ Back to top