Muhlenberg College Recognized for Community Engagement by Carnegie Foundation

Muhlenberg is one of only 119 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement from The Carnegie Foundation.

By: Kristine Yahna Todaro  Friday, January 31, 2020 10:00 AM

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The long-term partnership between Muhlenberg College and Allentown's Jefferson Elementary includes Jefferson Field Day, held on campus each May, and weekly visits from Muhlenberg students to assist with after-school programs.

The Carnegie classification is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution, which is then assessed by a national review committee led by the Swearer Center for Public Engagement at Brown University, the administrative and research home for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. 

Muhlenberg’s commitment to community engagement is aligned with its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and rooted in the concepts of equity and justice. The College, which initially received the Carnegie Classification in 2010, was also re-classified in 2015

“The civic good higher education institutions do, particularly through community engagement work, is vital,” says President Kathleen Harring. “Collaborating with our Allentown partners while enhancing our teaching and research to build stronger communities is central to Muhlenberg’s mission.” 

With 119 institutions classified or reclassified in the 2020 cycle, there are now a total of 359 institutions nationally who are active holders of the Carnegie designation.

“Recognizing and leveraging strengths within all of our communities to work toward common goals creates space for change to occur,” says Beth Halpern, Muhlenberg’s director of community engagement. “Community-engaged faculty scholarship, including publications, research and course-based collaborations, in addition to student-led weekly programs, build relationships among individuals and communities, creating positive, inclusive spaces where we can all thrive.”

Among the 2020 recipients of the classification, 67 are public institutions and 52 are private. For Carnegie’s Basic Classification, 52 are classified as research universities, 39 are master’s colleges and universities, 22 are baccalaureate colleges, 3 are community colleges, and 3 institutions have a specialized focus—arts, medicine, and other health professions. They represent campuses in 37 states and U.S. territories. 

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg is a highly selective, private, four-year residential, liberal arts college located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, approximately 90 miles west of New York City. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,200 students, Muhlenberg College is dedicated to shaping creative, compassionate, collaborative leaders through rigorous academic programs in the arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences as well as selected preprofessional programs, including accounting, business, education and public health. A member of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg competes in 22 varsity sports. Muhlenberg is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching aims to build a field around the use of improvement science and networked improvement communities to solve long standing inequities in educational outcomes. The Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.