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ASU earns Carnegie distinction for community engagement

Carnegie Foundation CEC digital seal
January 07, 2015

Arizona State University has been selected to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

ASU is one of three institutions of higher learning to receive the designation in Arizona, and one of 157 campuses to achieve re-classification nationally.

The classification is bestowed upon institutions that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national and global communities, according to John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, which oversees the application process as a partner of the Carnegie Foundation. Institutions participate voluntarily by submitting materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement in the community.

“These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities and revitalizing their civic and academic missions,” said Saltmarsh.

ASU shared examples of local and global impact in the following categories of community engagement:

• Foundational indicators: media statements, infrastructure and resource allocation, funding, assessment of impact, student leadership and awards and faculty rewards for service as a mechanism for teaching, research and service.

• Curricular engagement: Service learning participation and community engagement integrated into various parts of the student academic experience.

• Outreach and partnerships: Institutional resources and programs for community benefit, mutually-beneficial community partnerships, partnership sustainability and assessment and faculty scholarly research with community partners.

"We are honored to receive this classification and appreciate the dedication of our community partners, faculty, staff and students who enhance our local impact and social embeddedness," said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

ASU initially received the classification in 2006 and became eligible for re-classification in 2015. It was during this time that ASU rapidly transformed as a socially embedded institution. This transformation included large infrastructure changes, such as the formation of Changemaker Central, ASU SkySong, Access ASU and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group, dynamic partnership models such as iTeachAZ and the ASU Mayo Clinic initiative and the community-sparked creation of the Downtown Phoenix campus.

ASU is up for reclassification in 2025, and with the scale of ASU’s evolution seen in the most recent report, the institution’s future impact is promising.

“The Carnegie designation serves as a testament to ASU’s university-wide commitment to the economic, social and cultural vitality of our communities,” said Jacqueline Smith, executive director of University Initiatives and adviser to the president for social embeddedness.

For more information on ASU’s report, read the executive summary. For more information about the Carnegie Classification and a full list of recognized institutions, visit the Carnegie Foundation site.

Jessica Eldridge,
Public Service Initiatives