The classification is granted to colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement, and was first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Schools that wish to participate submit extensive documentation describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community at the local, national or international levels. The Foundation’s classifications are intended to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.
“This unique classification brings national recognition to the myriad of efforts by St. Mary’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni to be actively engaged with our community and our world as directed by the University’s Catholic and Marianist mission of service, leadership and academic excellence. It recognizes that our intention is to develop the whole person by integrating curriculum and campus experiences into the educational process,” said Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., University president, noting that selection required examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement with alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices. “To be selected required demonstrating compelling evidence of teaching, learning and scholarship that fully engages faculty, students and the community, and further affirms the University’s mission-driven focus on academic excellence, community service and civic engagement.”
This classification has been granted to only about 300 institutions – about 7 percent of the total 4,300 schools nationwide – since it was created in 2006. The Carnegie Foundation is an independent policy and research center that supports transformations in American education and classifies all higher education institutions.
Other notable schools that have earned the Community Engagement Classification include Auburn University, University of Southern California, the University of Notre Dame, Loyola University in New Orleans, Cornell University, and Kansas State University. For more information on the Carnegie Foundation and its classifications can be found at carnegiefoundation.org.