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Rockford.edu / News

Carnegie Foundation selects RU for 2015 Community Engagement Classification

01/21/2015 10:28 am

Rockford University joins just 361 other colleges and universities from across the nation, and one of only 11 in Illinois, to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Rockford University retains its classification from the original 2006 review process.

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. 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. The documentation is reviewed to determine whether the institution qualifies for

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recognition as a community engaged institution.

“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. “These are campuses that‌ are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

Rockford University Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Siconolfi, Ph.D., adds, “An institution that earns this recognition must do more than have a center for community engagement. They, like us, have integrated community engagement into teaching, scholarship and service. This reflects our ability to challenge and support learners with a rich academic opportunities, practical experiences and global perspectives that helps build a student’s knowledge, values and skills.”

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.

A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found on NERCHE’s website.

The Community Engagement Classification takes place on a five-year cycle. The next opportunity for institutions to apply for classification will be during the 2020 cycle (which will open in 2018).