Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

We are co-leading Carnegie’s first Australian pilot that recognises University interactions with community, outside of what's captured in academic rankings.

Recognised as the gold standard for higher education in the United States (US), the Carnegie Classification is an elective community engagement framework currently used across 361 US campuses.

An Australian Classification

Charles Sturt University and University of Technology Sydney are co-leading an Australian pilot of the Classification. The Pilot involves eight other Australian Universities and six 'observer' institutions. The Pilot is a comprehensive self-study that will adapt the Classification in an Australian context, and seek to:

  • Identify existing community engagement practices
  • Highlight areas for improvement
  • Provide a framework for development
  • Strategically integrate community engagement as institutional practice

The Australian Pilot submissions are due in December 2019 with the full Framework launch for all Australian institutions planned for mid-2020.

Preliminary assessment of the Classification requirements suggest that Charles Sturt is strongly engaged with our constituent communities in many areas, but improvements can be made.

A strategic approach to community engagement

Andy Vann

Community engagement and how the University contributes to creating Vibrant Regional Communities are key objectives in the 2022 University Strategy.  You can find out more about the Strategy

"Being a lead University to participate in the first Australian trial of the Carnegie Classification is an institutional highlight for Charles Sturt University.

This process will lift our standards of community participation and engagement and produce better outcomes for the communities in which we operate – core to the strategic vision of the University," said Professor Andrew Vann.

Why is community engagement important?

Community engagement describes collaboration between higher education institutions and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to:

  • enrich scholarship, research and creative activity
  • enhance curriculum, teaching and learning
  • prepare educated, engaged citizens
  • strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility
  • address critical societal issues
  • contribute to the public good

What do U.S. institutions say about the Classification?

Duke University

“Receiving the Carnegie classification for a second time is both an honor and an opportunity for us. The extensive reapplication allowed us not only to measure our progress over the past five years, but also to refresh the campus conversation about future directions for civic engagement at Duke.”

Cornell University

“Benefits exist both for the university as well as for communities. Our students can apply lessons learned in the classroom and come to understand the real issues that often underlie theories and principles. Our faculty members gain robust research sites for their work. And communities have the opportunity to educate us about what is needed for them to thrive.”

Florida State University

“What we discovered is that in every nook and cranny of campus, there is a strong commitment to experiential learning and to the creation of civic-engagement and service opportunities for our students, faculty and staff.”

Classification Framework

This is the current framework used by participating universities in the United States. It is the framework upon which Australian universities in the pilot group will model their answers to establish how it can be applied to the Australian experience.

Read more about the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement

Download Classification Framework