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Dickinson College Earns Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Photo of a college student and a child with a bicycle standing in a parking lot.

Dickinson College students safety check bicycles at the annual Northside Ride in Carlisle. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

Recognizing Dickinson's Commitment to Collaboration with Community Partners

by Craig Layne

The Carnegie Foundation has honored Dickinson College with its Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, a designation indicating institutional commitment to enriching teaching and research while also benefiting the broader community. It is the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years.

Dickinson is among only 119 U.S. colleges to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in the 2020 classification cycle. A total of 359 campuses are currently active holders of this important designation, which is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution. That study is assessed by a national review committee led by the Swearer Center for Public Engagement at Brown University, the administrative and research home for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

Carnegie seal“We are humbled and excited to receive this important designation,” said President Margee Ensign. “Civic engagement work builds community resilience, prepares students for complex problem-solving and is a critical component of our college’s mission to provide a useful education for the common good,” she added.

Civic engagement is one of the pillars of a Dickinson education, along with global education and study of the environment and sustainability. All three are integrated into the curriculum and campus life. The college currently has more than 45 community engagement partnerships, with students and faculty exploring issues including transportation, access to healthy food and arts and literacy programs, among others.

“Much of what we are doing is about listening and collaborating,” said Gary Kirk, associate provost & executive director of the Center for Civic Learning & Action (CCLA), Dickinson’s home for civic engagement and community collaboration. “We recognize the expertise and the assets our community partners have in this work, and we share the human and intellectual resources of the college with our partners to address community needs.”

Supported by a $900,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the CCLA provides resources allowing faculty, students and community partners to work collaboratively, both locally and internationally, to better understand and address regional priorities and challenges. The center has expanded community-based teaching and research opportunities and provides expertise and support for academic departments working in civic engagement. The center also oversees The Civic Engagement Fund, which supports projects that promote civic learning and college-community engagement that benefit the public good.

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Published January 31, 2020