Community engagement and leadership for public purposes


​ACE is working with the Carnegie Foundation to create additional optional classifications

Colleges and universities that wish to be recognized for their efforts to institutionalize community engagement and/or develop and understand leadership as a public good can apply now for inclusion in the next cycle of Carnegie Elective Classifications.

Voluntary classifications provide campuses with an independent and rigorous assurance of their extraordinary commitment, investment, and success in promoting certain essential aspects of their public purpose in society. Currently, elective classifications exist for community involvement and for leadership for public purposes.

ACE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced in February their collaboration on the next incarnation of the Carnegie Classifications, which for the first time will bring together universal and elective classifications in a single organizational home at ACE. The two organizations are working together to develop new and refined versions of the classifications to better reflect the public purpose, mission, direction and impact of higher education.

Optional Classification for Community Involvement

The deadline to apply for the 2024 Elective Ranking for Community Engagement is May 1, 2023 and applications must be initiated by October 31. Campuses will be notified in December 2023 if they have been accepted for the 2024 ranking, which will be announced publicly. in January 2024.

Community engagement involves collaboration between higher education institutions and their broader communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The Community Engagement classification was designed to augment the base classification (which all campuses receive) in a way that encourages innovation and change on campus through a process of institutional self-learning.

The Optional Classification for Community Involvement will mark its 20th anniversary in 2025. Beginning with the 2024 classification, it will operate in two-year application cycles, and schools will maintain their Community Involvement classification for a period of six years before have to renew. The application deadline for the 2026 ranking will be April 2025.

Elective Classification in Leadership for Public Purposes

The application process for the first Elective Classification in Leadership for Public Purposes is now open, with applications to be initiated by July 1, 2023 and the December 2023 submission deadline. Campuses will be notified if they have been recognized by classification in the spring of 2024, with a public announcement to follow.

Established and administered by the Doerr Institute for Emerging Leaders at Rice University, in partnership with the Carnegie Foundation and ACE, it will reward institutions that are committed to enhancing the learning, teaching, and research mission of their institution by developing leadership capacities in all institutions. stakeholders. Institutions receiving recognition will have demonstrated that they are involved in such endeavors as contributing to public scholarly understanding of leadership as a public good and preparing students for a lifetime of leadership in service of civic and public goals in their career, their communities and the wider society.

Future Elective Rankings

Work is underway to consider and create a set of new elective classifications, potentially including those that recognize sustainability and Indigenous serving institutions.

As part of this work, there will be a gathering of higher education thought leaders in October at the Carnegie Foundation in Palo Alto, California to begin developing evaluation criteria to determine potential new choices. and identify new homes for elective classifications that enrich the suite to better recognize unique strengths in student experiences at institutions.

International classifications to choose from

A group of Australian universities launched the Community Engagement Classification this year, after spending several years working together as a learning community to develop an Australia-specific version of the application framework and process. In Canada, 16 institutions participated in a pilot project to adapt the community engagement framework to their context. They are committed to adopting the Classification as the aspirational standard for post-secondary community engagement in Canada. They plan to launch the option in the spring of 2023.


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