Carnegie Foundation Recognizes Westminster for Community Engagement
Westminster students devote more than 45,000 hours to community service
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Krista DeAngelis (801) 832-2682
SALT LAKE CITY – The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently selected Westminster College for the 2010 Community Engagement Classification. Westminster is one of 115 institutions that will be added to the Community Engagement Classification, bringing the total to 311 institutions nationwide.
The Community Engagement Classification “describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”
Institutions were selected for inclusion this year only if they demonstrated substantial commitments to teaching, learning and engagement, as well as to collaborative interactions with the community.
“I am thrilled that Westminster received the Carnegie Classification on Community Engagement as it acknowledges the great civic engagement work in which our campus participates,” said Julie Tille, director of Westminster’s Center for Civic Engagement. “The college places a great importance on this type of work and the faculty, staff, students and community partners are dedicated to being involved in a sustainable and significant way, which creates a positive impact for all parties.”
Last year Westminster students participated in a variety of service-learning projects, from activities that assisted struggling ESL (English as a Second Language) students with math and English, to programs that created internet and social media how-to manuals for senior citizens. This project not only helps students gain new perspectives about the community around them, but directly impacts the community members they assist.
“These projects also reinforced lessons our students learn in the classroom and helps them develop leadership and communication skills,” explained Tille. “For example, with the math and English tutoring, our education majors gained direct experience that will help them become engaging and compassionate teachers. We believe it’s important for organizations like Carnegie to recognize these activities and highlight institutions that incorporate service into their culture.”
In addition to the tutoring and senior citizen programs, more than 800 Westminster students participated in other service projects, totaling around 45,000 hours, including events that raised money for the local Rape Recovery Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, internships for public service, and the volunteer program at Primary Children’s Hospital, to name a few.
“It is heartening to see this level of commitment and activity,” said Anthony Bryk, Carnegie Foundation president. “Clearly, higher education is making real strides in finding ways to engage with and contribute to important community agendas. There is much to celebrate.”
About The Carnegie Foundation:
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an Act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center. Its current mission is to support needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge. For more information, visit www.carnegiefoundation.org.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu or follow WestminsterSLC on Twitter.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching website, http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/descriptions/community_engagement