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Iowa State receives community engagement classification from Carnegie Foundation

Iowa State University

Engagement announcements often fall around the holidays, and Iowa State University received a big "yes" just in time for Christmas. On Dec. 18, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced that Iowa State is one of 119 institutions that have received the foundation’s community engagement classification.

In Carnegie terms, community engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities — local, regional, state, national and global. The collaboration benefits the institution and the community as they exchange knowledge and resources as reciprocal partners. Institutions that are engaged with their communities have aligned their mission, marketing, leadership, traditions, recognitions, budgetary support, infrastructure, faculty development and strategic plans.

ISU Associate Provost for Academic Programs David K. Holger said the community engagement classification is part of a new effort by the foundation to set criteria that could be met by research universities, liberal arts colleges and community colleges. Institutions that seek to receive the designation must document their efforts to engage communities.

Institutions were to describe teaching, learning and scholarly activities that engage faculty, students and the community; address community-identified needs; deepen students’ civic and academic learn¬ing; enhance the wellbeing of the community; and enrich the scholarship of the institution. They also needed to address how they provide institutional resources for community use in ways that benefited both the campus and the community. In addition, they had to explain how their collaborations and faculty scholarship allow for discovering and applying knowledge, information and resources.

“The submission that resulted in our selection was a collaborative effort involving many faculty and staff members from across campus, including ISU Extension. Their collective contributions made this successful new recognition possible,” Holger said.

For more information, visit the Carnegie Foundation Web site.

This article appeared in January 2009 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter