The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently awarded Salt Lake Community College its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.
Two- and four-year colleges and universities with a focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, which the Carnegie Foundation began offering it in 2006. Applicants were asked to describe the nature and extent of their engagement with the community and to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of engagement that “showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.”
“The designation is an affirmation of our historic and deeply-held commitment to serving our community, helping us teach and advance knowledge while advancing the well being of others outside of the college,” said Jennifer Seltzer-Stitt, SLCC director of Community Relations. “Receiving this designation brings national recognition to our campus and places SLCC among an elite group of institutions, with only four community colleges receiving the classification for 2015.”
SLCC engages the community it serves in a variety of ways, including through its Thayne Center for Service & Learning, Community Writing Center, Miller Business Resource Center, on-campus programs to engage young people in science, technology, engineering, and math, Grand Theatre cultural events and youth programs, on- and off-campus programming for local K-12 students, and through many arts and cultural events. An example is SLCC’s popular Know Greater Heroes leadership program that twice a week connects athletes as positive role models with surrounding schools, reaching approximately 25,000 elementary students, 1,700 educators and more than 54,000 parents each year.
“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”
The classification lasts ten years, after which time institutions can reapply. A full list of institutions that received the 2015 classification can be found on the Carnegie Foundation’s website.