SALT LAKE CITY - The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected two of Utah's public universities, University of Utah and Southern Utah University, for its 2010 Community Engagement Classification, an acknowledgement signifying an institution's social awareness.
These two schools join the ranks of nearly 100 other colleges and universities throughout the United States to gain this classification for 2010.
The Foundation is best known for its classifications based on colleges and universities' curricular and research missions, but the community engagement classification is a relatively new "elective" process open to institutions from all sectors. Schools that elect to participate must show not only community partnerships, but also how the institution's practices positively affect group of people around them.
"This is a wonderful honor for the entire faculty, staff and students who long ago recognized the importance of serious community engagement to a major research university," says University of Utah Senior Vice President David Pershing. "The U has long been a leader in this field and this national recognition confirms that."
As Utah's "Flagship University," the U of U has several outreach programs through their Bennion Community Center that range from youth camps to outreach programs with their University Neighborhood Partners.
SUU also partners with a number of neighborhood programs that generate socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities.
Brad Cook, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Southern Utah University, says, "This recognition is a powerful statement on SUU's commitment to its stewardship of place. Community engagement has always been a core value of the University, but by making engagement a part of the academic fabric as we have done though our Academic Roadmap Process only deepens and expands the way we serve our broader community." He adds, "Engaged and experiential education is proven way to increase faculty involvement and enhance student academic success through such activities."
To be selected, institutions had to provide examples of school-wide practices exhibiting community engagement and alignment among mission, culture, leadership resources and practices. The Carnegie Foundation developed a set of criteria used to assess the nature of an institution's community engagement commitments. This year, 305 schools registered to receive the application and of the total applications, 115 were successfully classified as community engaged institutions.