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St. Kate's receives national community engagement classification

St. Catherine University receives Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
St. Catherine University receives Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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St. Catherine University is among 36 private and 47 public colleges and universities selected to receive Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for 2015. Other Minnesota institutions receiving this classification for the first time were Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of Minnesota, Morris.

The Community Engagement Classification is voluntary and institutions are required to document the nature and extent of collaborations between the institution and community partners for the "mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources."

Launched in 2006, this classification enables the Foundation to document important aspects of an institution's mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in other national data on colleges and universities.

The 83 first-time recipients of the classification include 28 research universities, 28 master’s colleges and universities, 17 baccalaureate colleges, four community colleges, and five institutions with a specialized focus—arts, medicine, and other health professions. They represent campuses in 33 states and U.S. territories.

“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, which is the Foundation's administrative partner. “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

In a letter to the University from the Carnegie Foundation, St. Kate's was praised for its "...excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement, and it responded to the classification framework with both descriptions and examples of exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement. "

"Community engagement is a part of the fabric of our institution – woven deeply into our mission and it is a living example of the legacy of our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph, who 'address the needs of the time' and 'love of neighbor without distinction'," said Martha Malinski, director of the Center for Community Work and Learning. "I am honored that our efforts and relationships have been recognized on a national level by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation."

Colleges and universities that have an institutional focus on community engagement are invited to apply for the classification.

This year, 241 first-time applicants registered to receive the application, 133 institutions actually submitted applications, and 83 were successfully classified as community engaged institutions. Since this classification was launched in 2006, the Foundation has granted it to 361 colleges and universities across the nation.

Colleges and universities in Minnesota that earned reclassification this year were Augsburg College; Metropolitan State University; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; and University of St. Thomas.

More about the Carnegie Foundation

The Carnegie Foundation is an independent policy and research center and developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.

Jan. 7, 2015 by Julie Michener

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