On January 5, 2011, Hiram College received yet another level of special recognition in academia: the classification for Elective Community Engagement. This distinction was created in 2006 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to “address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities,” according to the Carnegie Foundation web site.
The distinction is awarded to institutions of higher learning that voluntarily outline their community engagement objectives, both in and outside the classroom.
The classification focuses on two major areas: Curricular Engagement and Community Outreach and Partnerships. Curricular Engagement examines “institutions where teaching, learning and scholarship… address community-identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being, and enrich the scholarship of the institution.” The second measure centralizes on the idea of outreach and partnerships within the community. Outreach focuses on “the application and provision of institutional resources for community use with benefits to both campus and community.” Partnerships rely upon “collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources,” the Carnegie Foundation site says.
For the 2010 application process, 115 two- and four-year colleges and universities were selected for classification. These 2010 inductees join 196 other schools that have received this distinction since 2006, bringing the total to 311 schools nationwide.
In addition to Hiram College, six other Ohio schools were added to the list of distinguished schools this year: Denison University, John Carroll University, Miami University, Miami University (Hamilton), Oberlin College, and The University of Cincinnati will also join the ranks as Curricular Engagement institutions.
“Through a classification that acknowledges significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement, the Foundation encourages colleges and universities to become more deeply engaged, to improve teaching and learning and to generate socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities” said Carnegie Foundation President Anthony Bryk on the foundation’s web site.
The next opportunity to apply for the Elective Community Engagement Classification will be in 2015.
For more information on the Carnegie Foundation, go to http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/.