2020 Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement

Carnegie Foundation Seal

Classification for Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized Utah State University with the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The Carnegie designation is the highest level of recognition for Community Engagement. USU is one of 359 institutions that now hold the Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The Carnegie Foundation noted that “USU has made significant strides in finding ways to engage with community partners, building on community assets, and addressing a wide array of community challenges. There is much to celebrate!” The Foundation cited USU’s “excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement along with exemplary institutionalized practices,” as the reason for the classification.

As a land-grant institution, community engagement is central to USU’s mission to serve the public through learning, discovery, and engagement. USU upholds its mission by responding specifically and concretely to community-identified needs throughout the state, both on its main Logan campus and on the 32 other statewide campuses across the state. All 33 of USU’s campuses are deeply rooted in their local communities and responsive to the needs of those communities, offering an unprecedented opportunity for community engagement.

Examples of university-wide community engagement efforts:

  • In 2017-18 alone, USU had 1,465 active campus-community partnerships, 722 of which were led by faculty.
  • USU rewards community engagement in the promotion and tenure process.
  • USU celebrates community engagement with university-wide Presidential awards and departmental designations.
  • USU’s General Education mission to graduate Citizen Scholars involves community-engaged learning that can be measured and assessed through established learning outcomes.
  • The Center for Community Engagement serves as the USU hub for community engagement and ensures community voice and campus-community reciprocity through programs such as the Community Bridge Initiative.
  • USU assesses interdisciplinary learning outcomes for community engagement in community-engaged learning classes, across designated community engaged departments, and through co-curricular community engagement.
  • Aggies Think Care Act (ATCA), a campus-wide initiative for fostering diversity, human dignity, and social responsibility, serves as the umbrella organization for ensuring ethical and responsible engagement by students, faculty, and staff.
  • USU’s Civic Action Plan serves as the strategic plan for community engagement.

The Community Engagement Classification is one of seven nationally recognized classifications established by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education over 30 years ago to help “recognize and describe institutional diversity in U.S. higher education.” The Classification for Community Engagement is the Foundation’s only elective classification, meaning that it requires a voluntary application process by institutions. The classification is not simply an award; it requires extensive, evidence-based documentation of institutional practice to be used in an ongoing and forward-looking process of self-assessment and quality improvement for community engagement.

“This extensive application process enabled USU to define and create a culture of meaningful and pervasive community engagement across all USU campuses,” said USU Provost Francis Galey.

“USU has been actively preparing for the classification since 2016. The pursuit uncovered processes and policies to be strengthened, clarified, and enacted to better align with the values and spirt of community engagement. Most importantly, the process gave USU a common language and shared institutional goal to not only obtain the classification, but also deepen and improve partnerships across all USU campuses in ways that encourage reciprocity, community voice, and mutual benefit.” said Kate Stephens, Associate Director of USU Center for Community Engagement and Co-Chair of Carnegie Writing Team.

“The classification is a valuable tool for faculty and student recruitment, sending an important signal that USU values community engagement and takes seriously its land-grant mission. Likewise, the designation signals to community partners that we’re invested in high quality partnerships that result in collective impact.” said Dr. Jessica Lucero, Social Work Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Carnegie Writing Team.

Carnegie Task Force Members

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Core Writing Team:


Kate Stephens, Associate Director of the USU Center for Community Engagement
Dr. Jess Lucero, Associate Professor of Social Work in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Dr. Kristine Miller, Director of the USU Honors Program and Professor of English in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Team Members

Dr. Francis Galey, Provost
Dr. Larry Smith, Interim Provost
Tim Vitale, Associate Vice President, Strategic Communications
Peter Crosby, Office of Analysis, Assessment and Accreditation
Sean Damitz, Director of the Center for Community Engagement
Andree Walker-Bravo, Director of Urban Extension
Nelda Ault-Dyslin, Director of the Val R. Christensen Service Center
Donna Crow, Director of Career Services
Brhianna Malcolm, Center for Community Engagement, Committee Secretary

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Task Force:

Dr. David Anderson, Associate Professor, College of Agriculture & Applied Sciences
Michelle Bogdan-Holt, Inclusion Center
Dr. Roslynn Brain-McCann, College of Natural Resources
Sheldon Browning, Advancement
Kristin Brubaker, GEAR UP
Dr. Chris Davies, Utah Agricultural Experiment Station
Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodríguez, College of Education & Human Services
Jennifer Duncan, Head of Special Collections
Dr. Ryan Dupont, College of Engineering
Dr. Craig Jessop, Caine College of the Arts
Dr. John Louviere, Academic & Instructional Services
Dr. Sonia Manuel-Dupont, College of Education & Human Services
Dr. James Morales, Student Affairs
Dr. Richard Mueller, College of Science
Dr. Blake Nemelka, Huntsman School of Business
Dr. Claudia Radel, College of Natural Resources
Dr. Sylvia Read, College of Education & Human Services
Dr. Ed Stafford, Huntsman School of Business
Alyson Straquadine, Cooperative Extension
Michael Torrens, Office of Analysis, Assessment & Accreditation
Dr. Matthew Wappett, Center for Persons with Disabilities
Dr. Ken White, College of Agriculture & Applied Sciences
Mike Whitesides, Extension and College of Agriculture & Applied Sciences

Questions? Contact Kate Stephens, Associate Director, USU Center for Community Engagement