Frequently asked questions

Defining Social Embeddedness at ASU

Getting Started and Asking for Help

Completing the Survey

The Data


Defining Social Embeddedness at ASU


Is the definition of “Community” for the survey intended to be restricted to Arizona?  
No, our definition of community engagement is not restricted to Arizona. In fact, it is not limited to location at all as programs that are totally online such as CareerWISE or Ask a Biologist would be considered a community engaged programs.


What types of activities are you looking to capture on this survey?
Social embeddedness can be social entrepreneurship, capacity-building, community-based teaching and learning, community-focused research, K-12 outreach, student capstone projects that involve a community partner, global engagements, public clinics, public events and lectures, days of service, public media, partnerships, etc.


I am not sure if my program/course is social embeddedness.
If ASU extended their resources, facilities, or expertise to the public in anyway, it is probably social embeddedness. You might consider whether we promoted the resource or advanced a common public interest with a partner organization. Other social embeddedness activities serve to drive the local economy.

Still not sure? Send an email with your questions to


Can a course that is not technically Service-Learning be considered “socially embedded?”
Yes. Any courses listed that have a service component that is connected to a curriculum can be considered socially embedded.

What is Service-Learning? 
According to Campus Compact, Service-Learning is a teaching method that combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-Learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community. There are 6 different types of Service-Learning: pure Service-Learning, discipline-based Service-Learning, problem-based service learning, capstone courses, service internships, and community-based action research (

Does corporate engagement count as a type of community engagement? 
Yes, a program that partners with a corporation to advance a public interest that addresses the needs of broader community (not just customers or ASU students) is considered community engagement.

Is a major partnership a program? 
Yes. We recognize that a component of how we are socially embedded involves being a valuable partner to another university or organization. The relationship in itself counts as a program on top of the programs that come out of the partnership. For example, the Mayo Clinic partnership would be one program and Obesity Solutions, an initiative with multiple programs shared between Mayo and ASU, would be another program.

I lead a community-based research project. Does that count as social embeddedness? 
Yes. Research that involves community members or provides solutions that meet community needs is a socially embedded program. Please include these programs in your survey answers.

Is research that will ultimately have an impact on public good a socially embedded program? 
Yes. Research that will impact members of our community either directly or indirectly is a socially embedded program. Please identify these programs under Program Type as “community-focused research activities” in your survey answers.

Does my work have to be grant-funded to count as socially embedded? 
No. Programs can be funded internally, externally or through fundraising efforts and still count as socially embedded research if the work ultimately benefits the community either directly or indirectly.

What are types of programs that are NOT considered “Social Embeddedness”? 
Examples of activities that do not qualify include those which are typical of the  academic scope of the university such as: presentations at a conference or university, tabling events, recruiting/job fair activities, editorial services for journals, etc.

Are individual faculty engagements, such as nonprofit board membership, considered socially embedded?
Yes, social embeddedness can be any instance in which an agent or representative of ASU is serving as a resource to the community. However, you may find that this survey is designed to capture program-level engagements and it is a bit overwhelming or redundant to pursue all individual-level faculty engagements. It is the POC’ss responsibility to determine what is feasible and noteworthy within their college/unit.


Getting Started and Asking for Help


How do I get to the survey? 
Points of Contact (POCs) can access the Survey Management Portal at

Delegates can access the survey here:

What is my login?
Your login is your ASURITE login credentials. Use the same username and password you would use to log into       

How much time will it will take to complete the survey? 
The time it will take to complete each individual survey will vary, but delegates that know their programs well should be able to complete it in about 10 minutes.

Who is responsible for collecting the data about each program/course? 
Each College Dean or Vice President has appointed one “Point of Contact” (POC) to manage the collection of Social Embeddedness data for their college or unit. However, we have built the survey so that the POCs can delegate surveys to individuals within their units who may have more information about a specific program.

The POC is responsible for:

  • Collecting data for all community engaged Courses and Programs in your school or unit (by completing a survey for each course/program or delegating someone else to complete a survey)
  • Updating or inactivating existing Courses or Programs
  • Reviewing all surveys for completeness (and following up with delegates if needed)
  • Approving all surveys by the deadline

What message will my delegates see when they are notified that they have been delegated to complete a survey?
Upon adding them as a delegate, you will have the option to send an email with the following message:

The Office of the President is compiling the annual Social Embeddedness Survey to inventory the community engagement efforts throughout ASU. This data will be used for reporting and recognition purposes. You have been identified by [POC name] as a delegate who can provide data on the following program: [Program Name]. Please complete the Social Embeddedness questionnaire survey for this program here: [link to the assigned survey]

If you intend to assign your delegate multiple surveys, you may also consider simply sending them to the delegate login page here:

How should I proceed with compiling my unit’s programs and courses? What are best practices for the POCs?
We recommend the following steps:

  1. Login to the Survey Management Portal and view the list of all the community engaged courses and programs already in there. (You can also click “Course Report” or “Program Report”to export the list to Excel if you prefer).
  2. Determine if there are programs or courses that have been terminated since last year. Click the “Update” button next to the entry name and select “inactivate” from the drop down. Update and close.
  3. Determine if there any new programs or courses that would be considered “Socially Embedded”. Add them by clicking “Add New Course” or “Add New Program”, fill in the basic information, and delegate the survey.
  4. Begin to update the survey delegates. (Some of these will be the same delegates as last year, others will require you to select a new delegate.) Click into the survey and add the name of the delegate you want to assign the survey to. (Re-add the old delegate’s name if you want to assign it to the same person this year.)
  5. Sort the entries by status and monitor them over the next few weeks to ensure that delegates are accessing their assigned surveys (“Started” means the delegate has begin to fill out the fields.)

We also recommend delegating surveys immediately. This will ensure delegates have adequate time to gather the data and complete their survey.

Who can I contact for more information? 
You can contact Lindsey Beagley in the Office of University Initiatives ( for additional information or support on the survey.


Completing the Survey

Why are you collecting this information?
We are collecting this information to better understand and describe how ASU is delivering on our charter commitment to assume “fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities we serve.” As such, we are interested in this data to better learn our strengths and where we can focus our efforts as we grow and expand. A wide variety of stakeholders, including those with financial interests, want to know how ASU is making an impact. In the past, we have shared our social embeddedness in an annual report (ASU Social Embeddedness 2016: Collaboration as a driving force).

We will also use this information to highlight or recognize programs, and apply for higher education awards for community engagement. In the past, we have achieved ASU’s classification as a Carnegie Foundation “Community Engaged Institution” and inclusion in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

When do these courses and programs need to have taken place?
This year’s survey will collect all events, classes and programs that occurred in FY16 (from July 2015 to June 2016).

Can I complete a survey for a program that my department didn’t lead, but took part in heavily? 
Yes. Be sure to list the ASU unit or partner that lead the event in the “Partners” question. Please mention that their role was major.

Do I need to complete an entire survey for a recurring event, like a lecture series?
You can complete a single survey for the entire lecture series, even if there are multiple speakers on different topics. Simply identify the Program Type as “Recurring event” and fill in the rest of the information as cumulative report on the entire lecture series. The same will be true for a community presentation given by a single speaker on multiple occasions.  

What if I don’t have all of the information for my unit’s program or courses?
That’s ok. As a Point of Contact, you can assign a delegate at the top of the survey (make sure the name of the program is filled out!) and click “Update Course/Program” at the bottom. The survey will be sent to the delegate to complete. You will be notified once the delegate has indicated the survey is complete so that you can review and approve the survey.

Will the course or program save if you are unable to complete all the data in one session?
Yes. Simply click “Update Survey” at the bottom of the page. Delegates can return to the survey by following the link in their email and edit the form as many times as they like. Only once the Point of Contact approves the form will the survey be uneditable. (POCs can edit a form by accessing it from their Survey Management Portal).

Why does the survey look different than last year?
We are continuing to refine the survey questions so they are understood by most people as well as to meet the requirements of our applications.  We invite your feedback if a question can be stated more clearly for next year’s survey.

What do the different statuses mean?

  • Not Started = The survey has only been identified by name. No other information has been completed OR the survey requires updating from last year.
  • Started = Either the POC or the Delegate have started to fill out the survey, but have not indicated the survey as “Complete” yet.
  • Complete = The POC or Delegate have indicated the survey is complete. The POC must now review the survey to ensure all fields are completed.
  • Approved = The survey has been approved and may not be edited unless the POC changes the status.
  • Inactivated = The survey was active in the past, but is no longer active. 

My delegates have submitted the information for their programs and courses. Now what? 
The POC needs to review that the survey is complete (attempts have been made to answer all questions). They will then mark the survey as “Approved” by selecting “Yes” to the final question.

By when do I need to have all of my units programs and courses marked as “Approved”?
All surveys must say “Approved” by Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 in order to be included in next year’s Social Embeddedness report.

What information is required for programs?

  • Department
  • Director/Program Coordinator email address
  • Name of Program
  • Program Description
  • Website
  • Program Type (Research, field engagement, K-12 learning resources, recurring event, etc.)
  • Community Need
  • Program Location
  • Funding Sources
  • Number of ASU students involved during the fiscal year
  • Number of hours ASU students during the fiscal year
  • Number of ASU faculty involved during the fiscal year
  • Number of hours ASU students during the fiscal year
  • Number of event occurrences during the fiscal year
  • How the community was reached:
    • Direct Service
    • Indirect Service
    • Partnerships
    • Multimedia
  • Internal Partners
  • Marketing: How do you promote your program?
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Planning for the Future: What additional resources would help you reach your goals?

What information is required for courses?

  • Department
  • Instructor email address
  • Course Name
  • Course ID
  • Course Description
  • Semester(s) Offered
  • Community Need
  • Total number of sections offered for all semesters
  • Number of hours ASU students served
  • Describe how students demonstrate their understanding of the connection between the community-engagement and the curriculum
  • Partnerships


The Data

How will the info I provide in the survey be used?
This information will be used in a variety of ways. For example, the information may be used to provide content in a social embeddedness collateral piece for public distribution or on the ASU’s website. Additionally, this information will be used in applications for various community-focused awards in higher education, including President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

How can my department promote our programs on whatever the outcome of this survey will be? 
As you collect this data about the social embeddedness of your College or unit, you may discover new information that will be useful in your own promotional and development efforts. The Office of University Initiatives will compile all units’ data and produce overarching metrics that we will share with you when the survey is completed.


What if I don’t want to increase the public visibility of my community-engaged program?
Please still complete the survey. There is a checkbox in the “Marketing” section that inquires about your desire to be included in promotional and collateral materials. You may choose to leave that checkbox blank.

Once all the courses and programs are entered for our college, will there be a report, or master list available that we can download? 
You can export and analyze your data by clicking on “Course Report” or “Program Report” in your Survey Management Portal. If you would like data from other colleges and units, please submit a request to