Date: January 13, 2009
"A community service ethic is embedded in the daily life of our university,'' said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack. "We strongly believe that our service efforts are both the right thing to do for the community but also enhance the education of our students. This Carnegie designation is indicative of the passion and talent for using the intellectual resources of our faculty, students, staff throughout the region, the Commonwealth and the world.''
Among the highlights of the UMass Dartmouth community engagement portfolio are the following:
* The September, 2008 establishment of a new School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement designed to array university teaching and research assets to address significant education and social challenges in the region.
* Inclusion of a requirement that every student will have a service learning experience by 2012.
* Location of the university's School for Marine Sciences and Technology in New Bedford, Star Store Arts Campus and a continuing education center in the city of New Bedford; and location of the university's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center, a continuing education center, and a future Bio-Manufacturing Center in the city of Fall River.
* Convening of the SouthCoast Development Partnership and SouthCoast Education Compact to mobilize the academic, business and government sectors to approach challenges and opportunities in a regional manner.
According to the Carnegie Foundation, colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, previously developed and offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Foundation's other classifications that rely on national data, this is an "elective" classification--institutions elected to participate by submitting required documentation describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. This approach enabled the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.
"We hope that by acknowledging the commitment and accomplishment of these engaged institutions, the Foundation will encourage other colleges and universities to move in this direction. Doing so brings benefits to the community and to the institution," said Carnegie President Anthony S. Bryk.
This year, 147 institutions applied to document community engagement, up from 89 in 2006. Of the total applications, 119 were successfully classified as community engaged institutions; 68 are public institutions and 51 are private. They represent 34 states and Puerto Pico.
Institutions were cited for either their curricular engagement in the community and/or their community outreach and partnerships. UMass Dartmouth was cited in both areas. In order to be selected into any of the three categories, institutions had to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.
"The Carnegie staff and our panel of advisors were heartened by the exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement of the selected institutions," said Carnegie Consulting Scholar Amy Driscoll, who directs the Community Engagement Classification process for the Foundation. "We noted strong alignment between institutional mission and budgetary support, infrastructure, leadership, marketing, and faculty hiring, orientation, and development. There is also an increase in students' curricular engagement with community, yet, there continue to be areas that need more informed development."
About the 2008 Community Engagement Classification
List of 2008 Classified Institutions