January 14, 2009
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected Rollins as one of the recipients for the 2008 Community Engagement Classification. More than 4,300 colleges and universities around the nation are able to apply for the classification. Rollins is one of 119 institutions to join the 76 institutions identified in the initial 2006 selection process. Less than five percent (4.4) of the colleges and universities nationwide have achieved this prestigious classification.
"This classification represents years of outstanding work and achievement," said Rollins President Lewis Duncan. "Community engagement is central to Rollins' mission of preparing students for global citizenship and responsible leadership."
Rollins' Office of Community Engagement was established in 2001 and focuses on three strategic priorities at Rollins: engaged scholarship through the curriculum; campus-wide engagement through service, civic engagement, and activism, and community partnership and development through learning opportunities. The proposal submitted for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification highlighted Rollins’ quality of faculty-driven community engagement courses and efforts, faculty mentoring faculty in community engagement and service-learning curriculum development, emphasis on community partners as co-educators, and student-driven programs and events.
Rollins has received additional national and statewide recognition in the last two years for its leadership in the area of community engagement. In 2008, the Corporation for National and Community Service named Rollins College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth. This is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for commitment to service learning and civic engagement. In October 2007, Florida Campus Compact recognized Rollins for its commitment to being an engaged campus. Out of the organization’s 51 member colleges, Rollins was honored with the engaged campus Best in Class award in the independent category as well as the organization’s first-ever Overall Statewide Award.
In 2007, the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) selected Rollins as one of 18 institutions chosen to participate in the Core Commitments Leadership Consortium. These schools are leading the first phase of a national initiative, Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility. The initiative seeks to embed personal and social responsibility objectives pervasively across the institution in both the curricular and co-curricular experiences as key educational outcomes for all students.
Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, previously developed and 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 elected to participate by submitting required documentation 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.
To create this elective classification, the Foundation, working with a team of advisors and a pilot study conducted by 14 colleges and universities, developed a documentation framework to assess the nature of an institution's community engagement commitments. Of the 147 applicants this year (up from 89 in 2006), 119 were classified as community-engaged institutions; 68 are public institutions and 51 are private. In terms of representing Carnegie's Basic Classification, 38 are classified as doctorate-granting universities, 52 are master's colleges and universities, 17 are baccalaureate colleges, nine are community colleges and three institutions have a specialized focus—arts, medicine or technology. They represent 34 states and Puerto Pico. To read more about the classification and selection process, visit The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.