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Carnegie Classification recognizes IU’s outstanding community engagement efforts

For Immediate Release Jan 31, 2020

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana University Bloomington is one of 119 U.S. colleges and universities to receive a 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. This elective designation marks the campus’s serious and sustained commitment to supporting and expanding service and volunteer engagement through teaching, research and collaboration with community partners.

People sing in a choir rehearsal
The Carnegie Classification signifies IU’s commitment to community engagement.

The designation comes from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It reflects the increasing depth and breadth of IU Bloomington’s engagement through such campus entities as the Service-Learning Program, IU Corps, the Center for Rural Engagement, the Office of Engaged Learning and Sustain IU, among many others.

“IU Bloomington’s faculty, staff and students are the rock stars of academic generosity, donating hundreds of thousands of hours of their time and talent each year, particularly across the state of Indiana,” IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel said. “This classification recognizes the outstanding efforts of our highly engaged research-intensive campus to ensure that the discoveries we make and our students’ learning benefit humans across the state and the world.”

This classification is awarded following a self-study by each 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 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

IU’s application included information about IU Bloomington’s Center for Rural Engagement. Since its inception in 2018, the center has mobilized nearly 5,000 students and engaged with nearly 8,000 residents. The center has launched more than 170 projects in 30 Indiana counties. One such project focused on Lawrence County, an area in Southern Indiana hit hard by substance use disorders. IU School of Social Work assistant professor and Lawrence County resident John Keesler successfully launched a project to provide resources for people with substance use disorders and education for the community.

A person riding a horse with a couple of people walking alongside.
Students in IU Corps work with various organizations like People and Animal Learning Services.

Additional points of engagement for the university include:

  • The Service-Learning Program, a campuswide model for community-engaged learning.
  • IU Corps, which was created to instill a sense of social responsibility and leadership in students through immersive service activities that benefit local, state, regional and global communities.
  • Examples of schools and departments that consider service in tenure and promotion cases, such as the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the School of Public Health-Bloomington.
  • Programs such as the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, which provides professional development that includes community-engaged learning.
  • Co-curricular programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, Division of Student AffairsKelley School of Business and many others that provide students with real-world work experience as they learn from and work with community partners.
  • Programs in the offices of the vice provost for diversity and inclusion, undergraduate education, student affairs, and research, and in the offices of the vice president for research, government relations and economic engagement, and diversity, equity and multicultural affairs.

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years, with multiple classification cycles in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2020. IU’s new classification is valid until 2026.

What they’re saying

“We are thrilled with receiving this important classification, which recognizes that IU Bloomington’s students, faculty, staff and programs are fully engaged. We are so appreciative of our students and faculty committed to learning in all of its many forms, whether it be through outstanding service-learning courses, direct service or research within the community.” – Dennis Groth, vice provost for undergraduate education

“The strength of our application lies on the more than 120 people who described the community engagement efforts of their schools, departments and programs. The number of people involved nearly tripled from our first classification. We were really able to represent the best and broadest scope of community engagement on campus. Since the last classification, the Service-Learning Program has seen tremendous growth in the number of community-engaged courses, from dozens in 2010 to over 300 in 2020. Our faculty recognize that community-based teaching engages students deeply in their learning about their field of study, civic responsibilities, and themselves while addressing needs important to and identified by their community partners.” – Michael Valliant, director of IU Bloomington’s Service-Learning Program

“The Center for Rural Engagement is creating a model for major research universities and their partnerships with rural America. From substance use disorder and other public health concerns to strengthening community capacity for the arts, Indiana University Bloomington’s students, faculty and staff and our rural community partners are demonstrating what is possible when we work together and in the spirit of the Carnegie vision.” – Kerry Thomson, executive director of the Center for Rural Engagement

“In addition to the volume of skilled volunteers supporting our community’s critical nonprofit sector, the philanthropic projects of students and professional organizations, the internships and service-learning courses, quite visible is the staff and faculty annual giving campaign, which has undoubtedly shaped our community and its ability to serve diverse and complex needs for our most vulnerable over the decades. Employee giving accounts for two-thirds of all funds raised in our annual community campaign, and the great institution that supports this culture of engagement and philanthropy has not only our deep gratitude, but the gratitude of many who rely on our nonprofit sector for supports and opportunities to thrive.” – Efrat Feferman, director of the United Way of Monroe County

About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching aims to build a field around the use of improvement science and networked improvement communities to solve long-standing inequities in educational outcomes. 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.

About the Swearer Center for Public Service

In 1986, Brown University President Howard Swearer founded one of the first public service centers in the nation, now named for him: the Swearer Center for Public Service. The Swearer Center is a hub of community, scholarship and action at Brown University. Through innovative programs and fellowships that reach across Rhode Island and around the globe, the Swearer Center connects people to co-create knowledge and positive social change, advances the field of engaged scholarship, and integrates social innovation with community engagement. In 2017, the Swearer Center became the administrative and research home of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

Media Contact

Office of the Provost

Jennifer Piurek

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