Community Engagement Classification (U.S.)

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Adjustment to Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification Timeline (U.S.)

As a result of the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are adjusting our timeline for future Carnegie cycles. We recognize that campuses are currently focused on challenges the pandemic has created for the campus and for community partners. These trying times will demand full attention to centering community partnerships in COVID-related response plans and budgetary changes in order to advance community engagement and assist in the recovery of communities. 

Thus, the 2023 cycle that we previously announced will move to 2024. After the 2024 classification, all cycles will be every two years (2024, 2026, 2028, 2030…) and campuses that achieve the classification will retain it for six years.

Albion College And The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Albion College became the administrative home for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification on July 1, 2020 following the appointment of Mathew Johnson as the 17th President of Albion College. The Classification was previously housed at the Swearer Center of Brown University (2017 – 2020) after being launched at the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (2005). 

The Board of Trustees at Albion College are deeply committed to supporting the Classification and have established a new Public Purpose Institute to provide this support. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is also deeply committed to securing new funding for the Classification to allow for greater research and support to campuses. The strong support of Albion College and the Carnegie Foundation and will provide great stability in the years ahead as the Classification continues to have a growing impact on higher education. 

The Classification

The Carnegie Foundation’s Classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification, meaning that it is based on voluntary participation by institutions. The elective classification involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments and requires substantial effort invested by participating institutions. It is an institutional classification; it is not for systems of multiple campuses or for part of an individual campus.

The classification is not an award. It is an evidence-based documentation of institutional practice to be used in a process of self-assessment and quality improvement. In this way, it is similar to an accreditation process of self-study. The documentation is reviewed by a National Review Panel to determine whether the institution qualifies for recognition as a community-engaged institution.

Defining Community Engagement

Community engagement describes 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 purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

Upcoming Cycles

Learn about our adjusted timeline for upcoming Carnegie cycles.

2020 CE Cycle

Learn about the 2020 Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification cycle.