Inagural Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Recipients Announced

Inagural Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Recipients Announced

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Recipients Announced

(Sydney, Australia) – The Australian Catholic University and the University of Technology Sydney have been named as the first Australian recipients of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“The institutions that we are recognising today are doing tremendous work in addressing their societal responsibilities through community engagement and service. In doing so, they have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to, investment in, and accomplishment at community engagement to address real challenges in our communal lives,” said Timothy F. C. Knowles, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. “They inspire us, even as they instruct us how to be our best selves in service to our communities. These are the very purposes for which the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement was established.”

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution, which is then assessed by an international review committee. The classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 17 years.

In 2019 a pilot initiative explored the internationalisation of the Classification system. Ten higher education institutions actively participated in the pilot, with an additional eight acting as observers. The process led to the design of an Australian specific Classification that was contextualised and made relevant to the local setting.

Under the umbrella of Engagement Australia, the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification is now being implemented formally in Australia. The first applications were received in June 2023.

Having been successfully Classified in this first cycle positions University of Technology Sydney and the Australian Catholic University as the first institutions to receive Classification outside of the United States.

These institutions are likely to be accompanied by others soon, as the Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification continues to expand across the globe. A successful pilot initiative in Canada is likely to result in the implementation of that nation’s first Classification cycle in 2024. Active interest from South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam suggests that others are to follow in the not-too-distant future.

“The process of the applying for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification requires disparate parts of the university to come together to learn, reflect, and assess”, noted Dr. Marisol Morales, Executive Director of the Carnegie Elective Classifications at the American Council on Education. She further added “This important component of institutional self-reflection allows institutions to put up a mirror and think about how their community engagement efforts are achieving the standards that meet higher education’s public purpose to society. Institutions who achieve this do so not just as a part of their outreach efforts, but as a part of their core academic work in ways that are asset based, reciprocal and mutually beneficial with communities. This first round sets that standard for Australian higher education.”

“The launch of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in Australia has come at a pivotal point in Australian higher education,” says Prof. Verity Firth, Chair of the National Advisory Committee for the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classifications in Australia.  “The Universities Accord Interim Report declares community engagement to be a central part of university missions, calling for a way for the sector and government to recognise and formalise ‘the crucial role institutions play in their communities’.  The Carnegie Community Engagement Accreditation is a rigorous and independent way for Australian universities do to this, and we look forward to many more Australian universities attaining this accreditation in the future.  Congratulations to both Australian Catholic University and University of Technology Sydney for achieving this prestigious accreditation in this historic first round’, she concluded.

About Engagement Australia

Engagement Australia is an alliance that supports and services its members and their various communities. Its membership includes 70% of Australian universities as well as private colleges, academic and professional Associate Members. As part of its offering, the organisation leads and facilitate the development of best practice university-community engagement in Australia. This is done through creating inclusive forums for discussion and development of engagement, promoting practice, fostering awareness, building capacity and developing resources. In 2022 Engagement Australia became the Australian home for the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification.

About the Carnegie Foundation

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. Enacted by an act of Congress in 1906, the Foundation has a rich history of driving transformational change in the education sector, including the establishment of TIAA-CREF and the creation of the Education Testing Service, the GRE, and the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education. The Foundation was also instrumental in the formation of the U.S. Department of Education and Pell Grants, and most recently in the use of networked improvement science to redress systemic inequities in educational opportunities and outcomes.

About the American Council on Education (ACE)

​​​The American Council on Education (ACE) is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,700 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities public and private​. Our members educate two out of every three students in all accredited, degree-granting U.S. institutions. In 2022, The American Council on Education, became the administrative home of all of the Carnegie Classifications in partnership with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Available for comments:

Dr. Marisol Morales
Executive Director of the Carnegie Elective Classifications
American Council on Education, United States
+ 1 (773) 951 9981

Jim Nyland
Chair of the Board
Engagement Australia
0467 802 226

Verity Firth
Chair of the National Advisory Committee
for the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classifications in Australia
0419 140 261

Mitra Gusheh
Program Director, the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classifications in Australia
0405 094 092