Carnegie Foundation recognizes Clark community engagement

Clark University has been awarded the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2010 Community Engagement Classification. The University is one of 115 schools to most recently earn this designation, which acknowledges Clark’s “significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement, improved teaching and learning and generation of socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities.”

“This recognition is further affirmation of Clark’s deep commitment to our transformational work in the community and the linkage of that work to student engagement and academic opportunities for students and faculty,” said Jack Foley, Clark Vice President for Government and Community Affairs and Campus Services. “Clark will continue in its role as a national leader with greater opportunities to blend knowledge with practice as we expand our partnerships and research in our community.”

In order to be selected, institutions provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.

Here are some of the examples Clark included in its application for the Carnegie distinction:

  • Clark has a high level of student involvement in the community, particularly in the Main South area. Through the variety of student clubs, volunteer opportunities, and community-based learning courses, all coordinated through the Community Engagement and Volunteering Center (CEV), students can get connected to the larger community and work in an area that they are passionate about, whether is education, the environment, hunger, or homelessness. There were more than 850 students working in the community in various capacities throughout the 2009-10 academic year.  Also, Clark’s faculty and staff are very active in the Worcester community through their own volunteer work, teaching, and/or research interests.

  • The University’s Making a Difference Scholarship ($15,000 annually;$60,000 total) is offered to incoming first-year students who have demonstrated a high level of commitment and leadership to issues of social justice.

  • Clark has a long history of partnership work and gets national recognition for the University Park Partnership (UPP).  An attitude of working "with" the community and local organizations is critical for building and sustaining these relationships. Clark has built a solid foundation of successful partnerships and achievements, including the University Park Campus School and the Kilby-Gardner-Hammond project.

  • Community engagement at Clark is not the sole responsibility of one department. While there is the CEV Center as a central clearinghouse for opportunities, students can find community based research projects with faculty members across departments ranging from Spanish to theater to geography, in a variety of the Study Abroad programs, in internships at non-profit organizations found through Career Services, etc. 

  • The Community Engagement Faculty Study Group supports community-based learning and research at Clark. It's a network that allows faculty to learn from one another, read seminal works in experiential and civic education, and share best practices.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching  is an independent policy and research center that supports 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. The Foundation is located in Stanford, Calif.

Since its founding in 1887, Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has a history of challenging convention. As an innovative liberal arts college and research university, Clark’s world-class faculty lead a community of creative thinkers and passionate doers and offer a range of expertise, particularly in the areas of psychology, geography, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Clark’s students, faculty and alumni embody the Clark motto: Challenge convention. Change our world. www.clarku.edu

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