In 2020, Virginia Wesleyan University was selected to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The University was one of 243 institutions to receive such a designation. Of the 3,466 accredited higher education institutions in the United States, only 7% have received this classification in 2020.
The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification, meaning that it is based on voluntary participation by institutions. It was first granted in 2006 and is valuable for colleges and universities seeking to demonstrate a mutually beneficial relationship with the community. 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.
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. The application requires institutions to document their engagement within the community both in and out of the classroom.
Read more about the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.