Xavier receives national recognition for community engagement achievements

By: Maddie Day ~Staff Writer~

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has announced Xavier as a recipient of its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.
Only 361 institutions nationwide were granted this distinction, which is less than 7 percent of all U.S. four-year academic institutions — public and private.

Additionally, Xavier is one of 157 colleges and universities to have earned the designation for the second time. Xavier’s first Community Engagement Classification came in 2008.

“Obtaining reclassification is a significant, national acknowledgement of Xavier’s institutional commitment to community engagement,” Sean Rhiney, director of Xavier’s Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning, said. “It reflects positively on the quality of our ongoing community partnerships, the resources we allocate to engagement and the hard work of so many faculty, staff and students.”

The Carnegie Foundation considers a one-year time period during which Xavier students served over 80,000 hours with various organizations.

Many worked locally in partnership with Strive, United Way, Center for Holocaust & Humanity Education and Boys & Girls Club.

“We are thrilled with and proud of this recognition,” Xavier president Fr. Michael J. Graham, S.J. said. “Engagement through service is a central tenet of Xavier’s mission and identity. The University has made concerted efforts to be a good local neighbor by forming mutually beneficial partnerships with nearby communities, civic organizations and local schools.”

The Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement classification was introduced in 2006.

The selection process involves extensive data collection and documentation of institutional missions, identities and commitments.

The designation encourages academic institutions to self-assess and to improve the quality of their community engagement.

The Carnegie Foundation defines community engagement as “collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”