Why did UW Seattle pursue the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement classification?

In 2017, UW examined the Carnegie Community Engagement classification framework and its alignment with efforts on the UW Seattle campus. The results of this exploration highlighted the fact that community engagement is woven into the fabric of our institution. In 2018, President Cauce charged a Working Group to undertake this self-assessment to better understand and align our efforts in community-engaged research, teaching, and service.

The pursuit of the Carnegie classification was both a means and an end, particularly in the four areas below:

  1. institutional self-assessment and self-study: a way to bring the disparate parts of our campus together in alignment with a larger vision while, at the same time, identifying promising practices that could be shared across the institution.
  2. accountability: a way to demonstrate the fulfillment of our mission to serve the public good and to partner with community in ways that are beneficial to both partners.
  3. catalyst for change: a tool for fostering institutional conversations and alignment for community-based learning, teaching, and scholarship.
  4. institutional identity: the classification provides clarity and legitimacy to our identity and mission, and allows us to tell more authentic stories about our work.

The Carnegie application is based on:

  • institutional identity, culture and communication
  • community relations, outreach and partnerships
  • curricular and co-curricular engagement
  • professional activity and scholarship
  • infrastructure and finance
  • tracking, monitoring and assessment
  • faculty and staff support and rewards
  • alignment with other institutional initiatives

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How does the Carnegie Community Engagement classification help UW?

Carnegie provides a means of becoming more intentional and systematic as an institution about how we develop effective and equitable community engagement infrastructure in alignment with national best practices, including institutional partnership strategy, faculty rewards, curricular integration and assessment of outcomes for students, faculty, partners and the institution.

It is an end in that it enables us to become a visible member of a national community made up of institutions that share our commitment to community engagement.

In other words, applying for the Carnegie classification will ensure that we practice what we preach, and that we are consistently reflecting upon and improving our practice in collaboration with a larger community of practice.