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加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 Earns National Recognition for Community Engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

This distinction is awarded to educational institutions for outstanding work in addressing societal responsibilities and service. It鈥檚 a recognition of aligning mission, culture, and leadership in the Gael community.听

by Kevin Wing, Director of Media Relations & News | January 8, 2024

加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 has received national recognition for living out its mission of service from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In a news release made public on January 8, the foundation announced that SMC is one of a select group of institutions that earn designation in the This honor is presented by the foundation in collaboration with the American Council on Education

This distinction is awarded to educational institutions for outstanding community engagement in the following areas of partnership between higher education institutions and the public and private sectors: scholarship; research; creative activity while enhancing curriculum; teaching; and learning as students are prepared and encouraged to be educated and engaged citizens of society.

鈥淭his recognition is a point of pride, it鈥檚 a point of honor, and a point of recognition that we鈥檝e been doing meaningful work in the community across all departments across campus, and really making those experiences happen in the community and for our students.鈥

鈥淭his recognition is a point of pride, it鈥檚 a point of honor, and a point of recognition that we鈥檝e been doing meaningful work in the community across all departments across campus, and really making those experiences happen in the community and for our students,鈥 said Sarah Beth Dempsey, SMC鈥檚 Director of Community Engaged Learning and Research.听

Dempsey also noted that the recognition comes out of an assessment of the past decade of community engagement across campus, so it is also a reflection of the breadth and depth of 加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 commitment. 鈥淭his affirms what we鈥檝e been doing,鈥 she said. 鈥淭o be externally recognized is huge. And to be recognized by our peers is a pretty big deal.鈥

A reflection of mission, culture, and leadership

加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 is one of 368 institutions that have been recognized by the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement. The honor reflects the ways in which SMC has engaged with community partners, built on community assets, and addressed a wide array of community challenges.听

鈥淭here is much to celebrate, and it is heartening to see this level of commitment and activity,鈥 said a message from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The foundation lauded 加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 鈥渄ocumented excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.鈥

Pride and wow

加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 College has long been known for instilling in students a 鈥渄eep responsibility to improve the world,鈥 in the words of the seminal guidebook Colleges That Change Lives. With this national recognition for community engagement, the College is being honored for just that.

The timing of the recognition also comes as 加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Catholic Institute for Lasallian Social Action (CILSA) on campus. For a quarter century, CILSA has been at the forefront of SMC鈥檚 broad-based community engagement efforts.

鈥淭his community engagement classification is yet another affirmation of the long-term investments that 加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 has made in community-benefitting practices across campus and with our partner organizations,鈥 said Jennifer Pigza, Director of CILSA.

鈥淭here鈥檚 a lot of pride and a lot of 鈥榃ow!鈥 in what 加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 has been able to do as a higher education institution,鈥 Pigza said.

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Four students and Sustainability Director Ann Drevno in the Legacy Garden in 2022
Fostering community and sustainability: The Legacy Garden partners with CILSA at SMC and draws involvement from across 加勒逼 Mary鈥檚. / Photo by Francis Tatem

The importance of community engagement

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution, which is then assessed by a national review committee. The classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in US higher education since 2006. 加勒逼 Mary鈥檚 first earned this recognition in 2008.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was established in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress as an independent policy and research center called to 鈥渄o and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education.鈥 Today the mission of the foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life.

The American Council on Education (ACE), which collaborates with the foundation on presenting the classification, is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. ACE has played a major role in shaping higher education in the United States for more than a century. Since its founding in 1918, ACE has spearheaded programs, advocated for legislation, and led initiatives that have shaped the nation's postsecondary landscape.

Kevin Wing is Director of Media Relations & News at 加勒逼 Mary's. Write him.


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