[Abstract] Student engagement research, policy, and practice are even more important in today's race-to-the top policy environment. With a priority goal of post-secondary completion with advanced competence, today's students must be engaged longer and more deeply. This need is especially salient for students attending schools located in segregated, high-poverty neighborhoods and isolated rural communities. Here, engagement research, policy, and practice must become more nuanced and less of formulaic, and the ensuing review is structured accordingly. Guided in part by social-ecological analysis and social-cultural theory, engagement is conceptualized as a dynamic system of social and psychological constructs as well as a synergistic process. This conceptualization invites researchers, policymakers, and school-community leaders to develop improvement models that provide a more expansive, engagement-focused reach into students' family, peer, and neighborhood, ecologies.