STARKVILLE, Miss.--The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced today that Mississippi State University is receiving the 2010 Community Engagement Classification.
Carnegie Foundation President Anthony Bryk cited MSU's excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices in support of "dynamic and noteworthy community engagement."
He said, "You were able to give examples of exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement, and you also documented evidence of this in a coherent and compelling response to our classification framework."
Among projects submitted by the university for the Carnegie application were:
--Body Walk, an MSU Extension partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi, which takes elementary students through a mobile display of making healthy food choices and developing a healthy lifestyle;
--Camp Jabber Jaw, an alliance between MSU's T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability and the Mississippi Department of Rehabiliation Services, which helps individuals with augmentative and alternative communication skills; and the
--Harrison County Beach Project, an effort of the MSU Department of Landscape Architecture's Center for Sustainable Design and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Harrison County, which provides landscape design and vegetation assistance in restoring the hurricane-damaged coastal beachfront.
MSU President Mark Keenum said that the Carnegie Classification process has been an excellent way for the university to showcase its commitment to local communities and identify more ways for students to be involved in service learning.
"In addition to our focus on students' academic success, service is one of the university's core mssions. This designation reflects the work that has gone into providing service opportunities where students can be prepared in a world that is becoming more interconnected each day," he said.
For more than three decades the Carnegie Classification has been the leading instrument used by researchers for defining institutional diversity in U.S. higher education. Until 2006, the distinction was derived entirely from existing empirical data before the addition of the "elective" Community Engagement Classification, which allows voluntary participation.
Tim Chamblee, director of MSU's Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, said that while the Carnegie application process highlighted the outstanding community partnerships that currently exist, it also provides a catalyst to improve and sustain partnerships and to build additional ones.
"These partnerships will allow our students, graduates, faculty, and staff to reach out to communities around the state, nation and world," he explained.
Supporting MSU's application, along with Chamblee, were committee members Lisa Harris, associate vice president for Student Affairs; April Heiselt, assistant professor, counseling and educational psychology; Gary Jackson, director, MSU Extension; and Cade Smith, director, Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement.
The university received the honor along with three other higher education institutions in the state, including Jackson State University, Millsaps College, and the University of Southern Mississippi. Mississippi State is one of 115 institutions being added to Carnegie's Community Engagement Classification completed in 2006 and 2008, bringing the total to 311 nationwide.
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. Its current mission is to support needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge.
For more information on the Carnegie Foundation, visit www.carnegiefoundation.org.
For details on MSU's Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification, contact Dr. Chamblee at 662-325-3920 or firstname.lastname@example.org.