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'Berg  Receives 2010 Community Engagement Classification From Carnegie Foundation

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – (January 5, 2011) – The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has acknowledged Muhlenberg College’s numerous community engagement  endeavors by approving the College for its 2010 Community Engagement Classification.  ‘Berg is one of 115 schools given the distinction this year, joining 196 other campuses awarded the classification in 2006 and 2008.

“We appreciate the Carnegie Foundation’s recognition of the robust collaborations between Muhlenberg and Allentown that make our communities stronger, “said Beth Halpern, the College’s Director of Community Service and Civic Engagement.   “The classification provides us with support for our current institutional community engagement activities, recognizes the contributions of communities to the life of the college and challenges us to improve even more with our assessment of community impact and nurturing of reciprocal community partnerships.”

The Office of Community Service & Civic Engagement strives to connect Muhlenberg and Allentown communities in meaningful, reciprocal relationships in which each party learns from the other.  The Foundation’s recognition of the “dynamic and noteworthy community engagement” at Muhlenberg is a testament to the many community organizations and individuals with whom the College collaborates.

The College has a long history of working with schools, government organizations and non-profit agencies in Allentown and the Lehigh Valley.  The College’s mission statement and the two most recent strategic plans have emphasized the importance of community engagement  to the Muhlenberg experience.

Rebecca Patterson '11, a team leader at an after-school program at Casa Guadalupe in Allentown, said, "My college career and my development as a young adult would never have been the same without the opportunity I had through Muhlenberg's Civic Engagement program. I began volunteering at Casa Guadalupe as part of a service learning project without any sense of the impact it would have on my life. The students, 'my kids', at Casa Guadalupe challenged me at times, inspired my interest in and dedication to psychology, and are a significant influence in my everyday life."

For a list of Muhlenberg’s community partners, please visit http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/campuslife/community-service/partners.html

Methodology:  The Carnegie Foundation’s classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification, meaning it is based on voluntary participation by institutions. Elective classifications enable the Foundation's classification system to recognize important aspects of institutional mission and action that are not represented in the national data. The extensive application process allowed Muhlenberg College to take a look at the institutional picture of community engagement and will valuable to guide us moving forward.