Giving to CSU

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification is an elective program that signifies institutional achievement of the highest standards of community engagement. The Classification is recognised internationally and is the gold standard for higher education in the U.S.

The Classification is an evidence-based documentation of institutional practice to be used in a process of self-assessment and quality improvement

The Classification was developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning for U.S. higher education institutions in 2006 (the most recent U.S. program was 2015 and the next is 2020). It involves evidence-based documentation of institutional practices related to community engagement. This includes activities of all staff and students.

An Australian Classification

The Carnegie Foundation, in partnership with Brown University’s Swearer Center (its administrative and research home) is seeking to extend and adapt the Classification in other regions. In this regard, a number of Australian universities (including CSU) are participating in an Australian pilot of the Classification.

The pilot applications involve a comprehensive self-study process that:

  • Identifies existing community engagement practices
  • Highlights areas for improvement
  • Provides a framework for development
  • Strategically integrates community engagement as institutional practice

The Australian Pilot commenced in October 2018, with applications due in December 2019. Site visits to participating institutions by Carnegie assessors are scheduled for February 2020. The launch of the full Framework for all Australian institutions is planned for mid-2020.

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 changes will it make at CSU?

  • Improved focus on community engagement
  • Better recognition of community engaged staff
  • Increased understanding of community needs
  • Rewards for community-engaged activities
  • Development of reciprocal partnerships
  • Pathways for participation in community activities
  • Enhanced social innovation platform
  • Closer links between community and CSU operations
  • Expansion of mutually beneficial outreach programs
  • New professional development opportunities
  • Quality assessment of CSU engagement and impact
  • Learning outcomes linked to community engagement
  • Community engagement aligned with strategic plan
  • Recognition of engagement on academic transcripts
  • Systems to record community engagement