Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement

Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has an elective community engagement classification that many campuses wish to achieve. The foundation describes community engagement as:

The collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.


The Engaged Campus: Preparing for the 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

The first of five webinars in Campus Compact’s Engaged Campus Series was facilitated by John Saltmarsh, Bob Bringle, and Gail Robinson. It provided detailed overview of the evolving criteria to be found in the 2015 application.

Click to download the detailed notes from the webinar.

Here is a snapshot:

Data from 2006 – 2010

  • 311 classified institutions: 173 public / 138 private
  • 75% of 2010 completed applicants received award: 2% Community Colleges / 35% Research Universities
  • The 2015 full application will be available September 2013 / Application due April 2014 / Campuses notified December 2014


  • In order to be successful, campuses need to be in a position to answer ‘yes’ to foundational indicators A and B (A. Institutional Identity and Culture B. Institutional Commitment )
  • All 2015 classified institutions must achieve both curricular engagement AND outreach and partnerships
  • Applicants need to show progress on systematic campus-wide tracking or documentation mechanisms to record and/or track engagement with the community and must demonstrate how the data is shared with the public AND how assessment is aligned with institutional priorities
  • Applicants need to show community engagement defined and planned for in the strategic plans of the institution and must show an emphasis on community voice and reciprocity impacting on strategic plan

Other 2015 changes – main application

  • Do the institutional policies for promotion and tenure reward the scholarship of community engagement? (not found in supplemental anymore and weighted more heavily)
  • ‘Curricular structures’ will need to be evident in main application – examples given were SL minors and certificates
  • Diversity issues in supplemental – CE connected with diversity, inclusiveness, and retention

Weakest areas continuously found in Carnegie classified institutions

  • Assessment – tracking / use / shared / for example, the number of service learning courses in target areas, aligned with strategic plan, reflecting breadth of majors and level of education (FYE/senior capstone)
  • Reciprocity – impact on institutional strategic plan
  • Partnerships – greater evidence of partnership nature being participatory, just, inclusive
  • Faculty rewards – Teaching, research, service – changes must be deeper and more pervasive

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Eastern Region Campus Compact (ERCC)

The strength of the Campus Compact network is personified in the Eastern Region conference collaboration. With its tagline of ‘Moving Us Forward’, the theme of 2013 is, ‘Aligning Civic and Community Engagement with Mission and Institutional Effectiveness’ (October 23-25, 2013, Philadelphia PA). Its mission is to bring higher education stakeholders together as we seek to align civic and community engagement with campus mission and institutional effectiveness. Significant resources have been amassed over this 3-year joint venture, some of which are detailed below.

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Plenary on Carnegie Data

Watch a plenary presentation by Dr. Dwight Giles entitled “The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Data 2006, 2008 & 2010” at ERCC2011 in New York:

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Powerpoint Presentations on the Carnegie Classification

  • Understanding the Context of Engaged Scholarship is a presentation from the 2011 ERCC Conference by Professors Dwight Giles and John Saltmarsh. It includes an overview of the classification system, clarification of engaged scholarship, lessons learned from classification processes between 2006 and 2010, information on institutional change, and a preview of the 2015 classification process. (PowerPoint)
  • Being an Engaged Institution and the 2015 Carnegie Application is a presentation from Professor Dwight Giles’ February 2012 visit to The New York Campus Compact Roundtable. It focuses more tightly on the 2015 classification process. (PowerPoint)
  • Community Engagement and Professional Advancement through Engaged Scholarship, also by Professor Dwight Giles, includes comprehensive exploration of the notion of engaged scholarship, quality evaluation criteria, documentation, and the most recent research on how institutional incentives and culture affect engagement. Importantly, the presentation also includes strategies, models, resources, and challenges from engaged institutions. (PowerPoint)

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