Carnegie Foundation Selects Virginia Wesleyan for Community Engagement Classification

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The classification is the leading framework for assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education


University News | January 31, 2020

The Carnegie Foundation announced on January 31 that Virginia Wesleyan University has been selected to receive its prestigious Community Engagement Classification. VWU is among 119 U.S. colleges and universities to earn the elective designation, which indicates institutional commitment to community engagement.

"We are thrilled that the Carnegie Foundation has recognized the efforts of our campus community," said VWU President Scott D. Miller. "We hold social responsibility at the core of our institutional values, and I take great pride in this accomplishment and in working among such engaged citizens and leaders.”

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification is awarded following a process of self-study by an institution, which is then assessed by a national review committee led by the Swearer Center for Public Engagement at Brown University, the administrative and research home for the classification. It has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years.

“These institutions are doing exceptional work to forward their public purpose in and through community engagement that enriches teaching and research while also benefiting the broader community,” said Mathew Johnson, Executive Director of the Swearer Center.

Of the 119 institutions classified in the 2020 cycle, 44 are receiving the classification for the first time, while 75 are now re-classified after being classified originally in 2010 or 2015. These 119 institutions join the 240 institutions that earned the classification during the 2015 selection process, for a total of 359 campuses who are currently active holders of the designation.

Among the 2020 recipients of the classification, 67 are public institutions and 52 are private. For Carnegie’s Basic Classification, 52 are classified as research universities, 39 are master’s colleges and universities, 22 are baccalaureate colleges, three are community colleges, and three institutions have a specialized focus—arts, medicine, and other health professions. Classified campuses represent 37 states and U.S. territories.

Read more about community engagement at VWU on the webpage for Wesleyan Engaged: Center for Civic Leadership and Service Learning.