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Carnegie Foundation recognizes Loyola for its community engagement

Loyola press release - January 10, 2011

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has awarded Loyola University New Orleans its Community Engagement Classification, recognizing the university’s long tradition of partnering with and reaching out to its wider community. According to Carnegie, this honor confirms that Loyola is among the nation’s leading higher education institutions that engage with and contribute to important community agendas.

“I am delighted that Loyola has received this recognition. This classification underscores our Jesuit mission of creating men and women who are with and for others,” said Loyola President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D. “Service and engagement are not requirements at Loyola, they are simply part of our educational culture. Since its founding nearly 100 years ago, Loyola has been committed to collaborating with communities here locally and abroad.”

All colleges and universities were invited to apply for Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification in 2010. Loyola is one of only 115 academic institutions nationwide to receive the classification this year, and one of 311 since Carnegie introduced the elective classification in 2006.

Kelly Brotzman, director of Loyola’s Office of Service Learning, believes community engagement is the key that unlocks all of Loyola’s strategic priorities.

“Engaging the wider community in a spirit of solidarity and partnership is perhaps the best way to express Loyola’s Jesuit tradition of educating the whole person,” Brotzman said. “Providing high-quality, ongoing community engagement opportunities is also an effective strategy for recruiting and retaining students and faculty in an increasingly competitive higher education environment. Students and faculty are more likely to come to and remain at Loyola if we are strongly connected to our surrounding community and foster meaningful interactions.”

Community engagement – meaning not only community service, but also community-based teaching and learning and engaged research and scholarship – is now among the leading nationally accepted academic best practices. Increasing numbers of formal awards, such as those given by Carnegie and U.S. News & World Report, recognize universities for making outstanding commitments to community engagement, helping those institutions enhance their national reputation and stature.

Carnegie classifies all U.S. colleges and universities every five years according to their instructional profile, academic programs, enrollment, selectivity, size and setting. These classifications are based on mandatory data that colleges and universities must submit regularly to the Department of Education. The Community Engagement Classification is the first of several new elective classifications introduced by the foundation. Elective classifications are designed to give a fuller picture of each institution’s distinctive character and strengths and are awarded based on voluntary submission of information and objective review by a panel of experts.

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center.