For more than 40 years, I have had the privilege of working at the University of Maryland and at all types of colleges and universities to advance purposeful learning, community engagement, and student success. My current scholarship and practice are in the areas of high-impact educational practices with a primary focus on service-learning, civic engagement, critical reflection, and the on- and off-campus partnerships that underlie this work. My roots are in services, programs, advocacy, and research on behalf of college students, particularly the vast majority who live off campus.

Through Barbara Jacoby Consulting, I enjoy sharing what I have learned through my extensive research and practice with faculty, administrators, students, and community partners across the U.S. and internationally.  I have engaged colleagues in hundreds of keynote addresses, workshops, and strategic planning sessions and have provided consultation to more than 80 colleges and universities.

I develop each workshop, speech, and consultation specifically to meet your needs.  Please let me know how I can partner with you and your colleagues to benefit your students, your communities, and your institution.

Barbara Jacoby
Barbara Jacoby Consulting

What’s New: 2020

My First Inside Higher Ed Article: What About the Other 85%? 

On July 23, 2020, Inside Higher Ed published my opinion piece on why colleges need to refocus some of their energy away from dorm beds and assigned showers to the crucial needs of commuter students. At this time when social inequality in general and racial inequality in particular are at the forefront of our national conscience, this article highlights the diversity of commuter students and provides strategies to promote their success in the Covid-19 environment. The article was republished in the Association of American Colleges and Universities Weekly Liberal Education News Watch. You can read it HERE.

Service-Learning and Community Engagement in the Pandemic 

With many students learning remotely, the longing for engagement in all its forms is acute. Community partners are facing growing challenges as need increases and resources shrink. Faculty members who have relied on service-learning to enable their students to achieve desired learning outcomes seek to integrate community-engaged learning into virtual courses. 

I am involved in conversations with colleagues about the possibilities for service-learning and all forms of community engagement in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Resources are emerging to encourage and facilitate this work during this difficult time. I look forward to continuing to work with faculty members and community partners to develop and implement mutually beneficial service-learning experiences.


Campus Compact: Engagement in the Time of Covid-19 

Edmonds College: Service-Learning Virtual Projects

Krasny, M.: Social Distancing Is No Reason to Stop Service-Learning: Just Do It Online

Omprakash. 5 Tips for Being a Useful Online Volunteer: Humanizing Digital Work During Covid-19

Orr, S. Service Learning During Coronavirus: Easy Ideas for Every Subject

Swearer Center, Brown University: Guidelines for Community Engagement Programs in Fall 2020


New Article on Commuter Students and Civic Engagement

In my second year as Contributing Editor for the Journal of College & Character, my latest article, “Igniting the Civic Engagement of Commuter Students,” was published in the August 2020 issue. You can read it online HERE.


Chapter on Strategies for Advancing the Success of Commuter, Part-time, and Returning Adult Students 

I am happy to have contributed a chapter once again to the new edition of Stephen Quaye, Shaun Harper, and Sumun Pendakur’s excellent volume, Student Engagement In Higher Education: Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations. Colleagues across higher education: In case you don’t know this book, I highly recommend it. You can check it out HERE.

Assessment of Community Engagement: How Do We Know If We Move the Needle?

In 2020, more colleagues from both campuses and communities invited me to engage with them about assessment of community engagement in general and service-learning in particular. It was a pleasure to speak on this topic at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, continuing my long-standing partnership with Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic.

International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement

This year I proudly joined the Advisory Board of the International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement. The journal’s articles feature scholarly inquiry and critical reflection to inform and improve service-learning and community engagement practice. You can read the journal and learn how to contribute HERE.

Click here to see news from past years.

Barbara Jacoby

Internationally Recognized Leader in Service-Learning and Civic Engagement