The University of Indianapolis has been reclassified with the elective Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement by the Carnegie Foundation.
The Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement defines community engagement as universities or higher education institutions partnering with their communities to find an equally beneficial exchange in experiences and knowledge, according to brown.edu.
Carnegie recognizes the community being either a local, statewide, national and/or international community, according to brown.edu. Mary Moore, associate provost of accreditation, assessment and educational innovations, said UIndy had to show growth this year from the original classification 10 years ago in order to be reclassified.
“In the reclassification, we actually had to demonstrate that where we were 10 years ago, [that] we have grown beyond that,” Moore said.
The Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement can only be received after a university achieves a basic classification title, according to brown.edu. The basic classifications includes doctoral universities, master’s colleges and universities, baccalaureate colleges, baccalaureate/associates colleges, associate’s colleges, special focus institutions and tribal colleges, according to carnegieclassifications.iu.edu. After a university receives the basic classification, any elective classification received by the Carnegie Institution is on a voluntary basis.
According to brown.edu, UIndy is one of 361 universities that have received the classification. According to Director of Service-Learning and Community Engagement Marianna Foulkrod, the Carnegie Institution requires specific criteria for universities to meet prior to awarding them with this elective.
“A lot of it has to do with assessment,” Foulkrod said, “Assessing not just what you do but the impact of what you’re doing truly has on the student learning objectives and the student development, but also in the community.”
For University President Robert Manuel, he said he believes that there are two ways for students and faculty to get involved with continuing community engagement at UIndy. One way is to participate in the activities already available on campus, Manuel said.
According to Foulkrod, activities on campus include getting involved with a Registered Student Organization or utilizing the curricular concentration called the Community Engagement Through Leadership and Service, which will go on a student transcript and count for curricular hours. There is another way for students to get involved within the community, Manuel said.
“The more connected way would be to think about where you connect to our community and identify the need that’s there and come organize our community to engage that question and opportunity yourself,” Manuel said. “So [to] be a creative spark to the generation of the next opportunities in community engagement, and make that part of your gift back to the university.”
While the 2020 report just came out, Foulkrod said she is already looking ahead to the next 10 years for what needs to be accomplished.
“With the support of the administration, with the growth in the number of faculty that are teaching these classes now, with the healthy number of nonprofit partners that we work with, we are steady,” Foulkrod said. “Now it’s time to dig deeper into the critical service-learning piece and just make sure that the actual experience is one that is meaningful for our students and our faculty and those that we serve.”