Muhlenberg earns Community Engagement Classification by Carnegie Foundation
Muhlenberg College was awarded Community Engagement Classification recertification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The renewal of the classification is an extension of the distinction first earned by Muhlenberg in 2010.
Muhlenberg students Reed Schmidt '18, Meaghan Elliot '17 and Alyssa Mannarino '15 work with students at Jefferson Elementary School in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Foundation’s other classifications that rely on national data, this is an “elective” classification—institutions participated voluntarily by submitting required materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. This approach enabled the Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.
Beth Halpern, director of community engagement at Muhlenberg, credits the depth of the College’s relationships with the surrounding community.
"This re-certification challenges our community to push forward for positive change,” says Halpern. “Our students want to do more and get more of their peers involved. The steps taken to earn the Carnegie Classification help keep us accountable as members of our community, and the distinction is a reinforcement of those efforts.”
Muhlenberg College sees engagement as more than simply service to the community. In addition to volunteer opportunities, Muhlenberg community members contribute through academia, the arts, athletics, research, public events, contributions as members of boards of directors, and more. The College aims to actively engage with local Allentown communities.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is committed to developing networks of ideas, individuals and institutions to advance teaching and learning. The foundation joins together scholars, practitioners and designers in new ways to solve problems of educational practice. Toward this end, it works to integrate the discipline of improvement science into education with the goal of building the field’s capacity to improve.