Southern Utah University Receives Carnegie Community Engagement Designation

Published: January 31, 2020 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU Community Engagement.jpgEvidence of the institutional commitment to community engagement, Southern Utah University has once again earned the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. SUU has held the designation for a decade and is among fewer than one percent of higher education institutions nationally to receive it. 

“Community engagement has become deeper, more pervasive, better integrated, and sustained at SUU than it was in 2010 when the classification was first awarded,” said President Scott L Wyatt. “The collaboration between the university and local community has been exceptionally strong from the start, each supporting the other. Over the years, in particular since 2010, the community SUU serves has grown to encompass regions around the world.”

According to the Carnegie Foundation, community engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. To be selected, institutions provide examples of university-wide practices exhibiting community engagement and alignment in mission, culture, leadership resources, and practices through a self-study. The materials and institutions are then assessed by a national review committee.  

“One of the keys to retaining the Carnegie Community Engagement classification was our ability to highlight fidelity to SUU's mission, vision, and core themes,” said Earl Mulderink, professor of history and facilitator of the application process. “Personally, I want to thank everyone who contributed to this team effort and the successful outcome. We can be proud of joining a relatively small number of higher education institutions in the United States that effectively promote and are recognized for community engagement.”

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years with multiple classification cycles in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2020.

"The important thing to remember is this is not just a designation," said Pam Branin, director of the Community Engagement Center. "This is a reflection of the many faculty and staff that are involved across campus and the students that are contributing thousands of hours of service each year. This designation recognizes everyone on our campus and in our community."

With a long history of community engagement, SUU is committed to being “a dynamic teaching and learning community that engages students in experiential education leading to personal growth, civic responsibility, and professional excellence.” The Community Engagement classification underscores and enhances SUU’s ongoing efforts to fulfill a wide range of institutional and community responsibilities.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching aims to build a field around solving long-standing inequities in educational outcomes. The Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, 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 (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers, and others. 

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