CCSU President Jack Miller announced that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected the University for its 2010 Community Engagement Classification. CCSU was cited for “excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.” We join 115 other U.S. colleges and universities in the new classification, which the Carnegie Foundation announced on Wednesday, January 5.
President Miller acknowledged the work of faculty and staff, led by Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs Carl Lovitt and Associate Director of Continuing Education & Community Engagement Richard Cheney, in developing the Carnegie Community Engagement report, and thanked them for their participation. Miller also noted that the University takes special pride in its selection since Community Engagement is one of CCSU’s core elements of distinction. The honor caps off a year in which the University has continued to develop programs, such as Community Central, to further its participation in the life of our community.
NEWS from Central Connecticut State University
Carnegie Foundation selects CCSU as a “Community Engaged” Institution
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 7, 2011
New Britain, CT – Central Connecticut State University has been designated as a Carnegie Community Engagement Institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. CCSU is one of 115 U.S. colleges and universities selected this year for the special classification.
“We are honored to be named as a Carnegie Community Engagement Institution. It puts CCSU in a distinctive category and acknowledges our support and advancement in community engagement,” says Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Carl Lovitt. “Our ultimate aim is to prepare students to be thoughtful, responsible and successful citizens, as we partner with our community to help address serious problems, realize opportunities, and stimulate revitalization.”
To be considered for the designation, CCSU completed a 36-page application describing the nature and extent of its engagement with the community, be it local or beyond.
“Through a classification that acknowledges significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement, the Foundation encourages colleges and universities to become more deeply engaged, to improve teaching and learning and to generate socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities,” said Carnegie President Anthony Bryk. “We are very pleased with the movement we are seeing in this direction.”
In a letter to CCSU, Carnegie cited Central for its “exemplary” practices of community engagement” and “excellent” alignment among its mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.
Having identified community engagement as one of the university’s four elements of distinctiveness, CCSU has been dedicated over the past five years to making community engagement an institutional priority. Faculty, staff, administrators, and students, from the President’s Office on down, have been actively involved in improving and expanding its partnerships and outreach. In 2009, the Office of Continuing Education and Community Engagement was established and charged with planning, developing and coordinating community-based projects and engagement programs. The University established multiple channels for community members to provide feedback about perceptions and program and partnership development, offers student scholarships and faculty grants to support them in their community efforts, and formally recognizes faculty, staff and students through university-wide and departmental awards.
The proportion of first-year students giving back to the community has shown a marked increase indicating an increased institutional contribution to their development. In 2006, 26% of first-year students reported that CCSU had contributed “very much” or “quite a bit” to their own development in contributing to the welfare of their community. Two years later, that number increased to 46%, according to Lovitt, who said “But we won’t be satisfied until a substantial majority of our students indicate that CCSU has enhanced their commitment to community engagement.”
Some of the projects exemplifying CCSU’s commitment to community engagement include:
Working with a faculty mentor, School of Business students developed a business plan for the downtown New Britain Community Central project, which has received internal funding to establish a storefront presence for CCSU while delivering after-school programs for youth.
Students and faculty involved students from a local teen pregnancy prevention program in after-school laboratory research projects, constructed an eco-friendly Naturescape, and organized a health fair for members of the Naylor School community.
Education students led an interactive drawing and writing workshop for elementary school children to increase awareness of and promote compassion toward homelessness and implemented a middle school mentoring program.
Students, working with the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at CCSU, testified in the General Assembly on proposed legislation, designed innovative mapping technology, and conducted trainings on web-based applications.
CCSU Courses Abroad routinely engage students with community initiatives overseas, including work on local farms (Brazil), learning from chiefs and traditional healers (Ghana), work with Aboriginal artists (Australia), assisting communities in extreme poverty (South Africa), and helping villagers achieve sustainable development goals (Peru.
More information about the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification can be found on the Web at: www.carnegiefoundation.org.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center that supports needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge. The Foundation is located in Stanford, Calif.