2020 Cycle FAQs

Which campuses are eligible to apply?
Only campuses that have the Carnegie “Basic Classification” are eligible to apply for the Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Only campuses in the United States have a Basic Classification from the Foundation. To determine whether your campus is eligible to apply, visit the Carnegie Classification website (http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu) and go to the tab for “Institution Look Up.” If your campuses is listed, then you are eligible to apply for the Community Engagement Classification. There are a number of campuses that have one Basic Classification and multiple branch campuses. In these cases, please consult our updated policy, linked here: Notice of Change in Policy: Eligibility for Applying for the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification (April 18, 2018).

Which campuses are up for re-classification?
Campuses that earned the classification in 2010 will need to re-classify in the 2020 classification cycle in order to retain the classification. For campuses that were classified or re-classified in the 2015 cycle, they can apply for early re-classification in the 2020 cycle if they wish by going through the standard process and following the established timeline. Successful classification in 2020 will mean that the next reclassification will be in the 2030 cycle. PLEASE NOTE: Campuses that earned the classification in 2006 and 2008 were required to re-classify in 2015. If a 2006 or 2008 classified campus did not re-classify in 2015, they will need to submit a first time application for the 2020 classification cycle.

Does the Documentation Framework list all of the questions that appear in the official online application?
Yes. The Documentation Framework comprises a list of all questions that appear in the application and also includes various notes that provide additional guidance as to the purpose of certain questions and the type of information that is expected in applicants’ responses.  It is strongly recommended that institutions use this framework for collecting data and drafting responses to the application questions. Transferring responses from the framework to the online application and then submitting it should be the last steps in the application process.

Are web links (i.e., URLs) permitted in responses to application questions?
This depends on the type of application your institution is submitting. Web links will NOT be accepted as valid supporting documentation in First-Time Applications (i.e., reviewers will not open links included in the application).  Instead, when relevant, First-Time Applicants should copy and paste text from websites and include that information as part of application responses, where appropriate.
Re-Classification Applicants should provide web links to relevant campus resources where requested in the application.  Reviewers may want to examine websites for additional clarification of the responses in the application. Reviewers also may ask for a telephone conversation to clarify evidence provided.

How can we access the online application?
In order to gain access to the application, institutional representatives should visit the application payment page via GivePulse, where they will be prompted to select an application type (first-time or re-classification). After the payment is complete, an email receipt will be generated and will include a unique link to the classification framework application portal. There, you will be able to complete the application and save your progress as a draft. For the 2020 application cycle, application fees ($750 + 4.1% credit card processing fee = $780.54) must be paid in order to access the online-application starting May 1, 2018. These fees cover the cost of administration and maintaining access to Carnegie classification datasets. The Classification is intended to invite wide participation and not exclude any campus from participating because of inability to cover the application fee. Campuses may request fee waiver prior to accessing the on-line application by emailing us on carnegieclassification@albion.edu.

When should an applicant enter text into the official online application?
It is strongly recommended that applicants complete the entire application in a word-processing application (e.g., Microsoft Word) and then cut and paste text from that file into answer fields on the online application. More specifically, institutions should use the Word version of the Documentation Framework for collecting data and drafting responses to the application questions.  Transferring responses from the framework to the online application and then submitting it should be the last steps in the application process.

Can an applicant “click through” the pages of the online application to review all of the questions?The online application is divided into the following sections (consistent with the pdf version of the first-time and the re-classification documentation framework):

  • Overview
  • Contact
  • Section 1 – Campus and Community Context
  • Section 2 – Foundational Indicators
  • Section 3 – Categories of Community Engagement
  • Section 4 – Reflection & Additional Information
  • Permissions

Applicants can view the application sections, finish parts of the applications, save drafts and come back to it later as needed.

Can an applicant save an unfinished online application and then return to it at a later time?
Yes. Applicants may save drafts of the online application and then edit and/or continue at a later time. You will be able to log in and have access to the application in draft mode. If you forget your password, you can easily reset it.

Who should be responsible for submitting the online application?
Though the process of compiling responses to the application questions will likely involve many individuals from the applicant institution, it is strongly recommended that only one person be responsible for filling out and submitting the online application itself.  Preferably, the individual listed in the “Applicant’s Contact Information” section of the application will be the same individual who submits the application.

Are application responses limited to a certain number of words?
Yes. Application questions require responses that do not exceed 500 words and the text boxes will not allow for more than the word limit. You will find a word count calculator under each text box in the online framework.  If a response provided by an applicant exceeds the word limit, the online application software will only submit the maximum number of words allowed for that question, resulting in an incomplete response. Therefore, it is recommended that applicants draft their responses in a word-processing application (e.g., Microsoft Word), and use the word-count feature before cutting and pasting text into the online application. Upon pasting your answer into the online application, please make sure to read it fully to make sure that the full answer was captured.

Are paragraph divisions (i.e., hard returns) counted as words in the online application?
No. Paragraph marks in a response are not treated as a word in the word count limit.

Can applicants include formatted text in response boxes on the application?
No. The response boxes in the application will only accept non-formatted text (i.e., no font enhancements, such as bolding, italicizing, or underlining, and no tables). In addition, the response boxes do NOT allow embedded hyperlinks.  The full text of URLs must be listed when referring to web addresses (where appropriate; please see the question above regarding URLs if you are unsure whether your campus should use them).

Will each application be reviewed in its entirety by a single reviewer at a time? If so, is it acceptable for applicants to use acronyms and/or abbreviations when referring to entities that are referenced more than once in the application?
Each application is reviewed in its entirety by a single reviewer at a time (with multiple reviewers reviewing each application); thus, it is acceptable to use acronyms and/or abbreviations throughout the application after the first full reference to an entity.

Are applicants required to answer all questions on the application?
It is not advisable to leave any sections blank. If you cannot respond by providing evidence, explain why the evidence does not exist and what the campus is doing to be able to provide the evidence in the future.

When responding to the questions that ask for the number of students, faculty, departments, and courses associated with academically based community engaged courses, should I include internships, clinical placement, student teaching, cooperative education, and other forms of experiential education?
The application seeks evidence of community engagement in courses where there are collaborative and reciprocal partnerships. While an internship may be based on a collaborative and reciprocal partnership, for example, it may also be based on a placement with the purpose of professional preparation. When collecting data, many campuses make the distinction between experiences that are placements that enhance academics and provide professional training, and those that are partnerships that enhance academics and meet community needs. The distinctions are not absolute, but it is important to be able to clarify the differences in type of experiential education so that not everything experiential is counted as community engagement.

Whom should applicants contact for technical or content-related questions about the Community Engagement Classification application?
General inquiries regarding the application process and for immediate assistance with technical issues, or guidance related to application content, please contact carnegieclassification@albion.edu.

Whom should applicants contact to receive a copy of the link to the online application?
The online form is the ONLY allowable means by which to submit your institution’s classification application responses. To have a link to 2020 online application re-sent to your institution, please contact carnegieclassification@albion.edu

For a campus applying for re-classification, is it possible to receive a copy of its original, first-time application?
Yes. To receive a copy of a previous, successful Community Engagement Classification application, please complete and submit the following form. To ensure the protection of your institutional data, if you are not the chief academic officer of your institution (ex: Provost, Chancellor), we will need you to upload a formal letter on an institutional letterhead signed by them.

When is the 2020 Community Engagement Classification application due?
The deadline for submitting the application for the 2020 Community Engagement Classification is April 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. 

When will the results of the 2020 application process be announced?The results of the 2020 Community Engagement Classification application process will be announced in January 2020.  Only those institutions that receive the classification will be identified.

After 2020 when will institutions be eligible to apply for Community Engagement Classification?
The next Community Engagement Classification application process will be announced in 2023 for the 2025 application cycle.

Will community partners from non-English-speaking organizations be able to indicate a language preference filling out the partner surveys?For this cycle, we are requesting answers to the entire survey and the community partner feedback in English.

What is your refund policy?
Campuses that wish to withdraw their participation in the 2020 process can submit a refund request on or before March 15, 2019 to receive a refund of 50% of their application fees. No refunds will be processed after March 15, 2019. To request a refund, please send an email to carnegieclassification@albion.edu.

Does the Carnegie Foundation or Brown University endorse any particular consultants for campuses to work with on the classification?

  • Members of the Carnegie Management Team (CMT) at the Swearer Center and members of the Carnegie National Advisory Committee (NAC) provide training and consultation in “multi-campus settings” like conferences, symposia, and workshops involving more than one campus. The CMT and the NAC do not provide training or consultation to individual campuses so as to avoid conflicts of interest in the evaluation process.
  • There are a number of consultants who are available and who operate independently of the Carnegie Foundation and the Swearer Center. The Carnegie Foundation requires these consultants to provide a clear and prominent disclaimer that their consulting and training are not in any way associated with the Carnegie Foundation or with the Swearer Center as the home of the classification.
  •  Suggested Language:
    •  “ XXX operates independently from and is not affiliated with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching or the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University; the administrative and research home of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.”
  • For the 2025 cycle, the Carnegie Management Team is interested in developing a pool of consultants. After the 2020 cycle is completed, we will introduce a process for individuals to be considered as part of our recommended pool. We are particularly interested in consultants who have direct experience with leading an application on their campus. Invited consultants will be asked to participate in training provided by the Carnegie Management Team, and will have access to resources created by the Swearer Center before being members of the recommended pool.