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Carnegie Foundation awards Stetson for Community Engagement

Carnegie CEC digital seal[2]Stetson University has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation to receive the prestigious Advancement of Teaching “Community Engagement Classification” for 2015 in recognition of exemplary commitment to student learning through community impact.

Since 2006, colleges and universities with the highest institutional focus on community engagement have been invited to apply for the classification. Stetson is one of only 157 institutions across the country to receive this classification for a second time, having also received this distinction in 2008.

“With passionate commitment to this crucial component of today’s higher education experience, Stetson’s support for community engagement is inherent throughout our institution as reflected by Stetson’s mission and values, as well as the student, faculty and staff involvement,” said Stetson Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Beth Paul, Ph.D. “We are an institution whose identity is grounded in the value of community engagement and whose students are challenged and supported to lead lives of significance.”

Bonner-Carnegie-copySeveral nationally-recognized initiatives in particular showcased the breadth and depth of Stetson’s commitment to community engagement, including:

·         Experiential Learning: Over 100 courses include projects that require students to work with local businesses, non-profits, or civic organizations in order to solve meaningful problems – across academic programs such as accounting, finance, art, music, biology, psychology and political science.

·         Community Partnerships: Stetson partners with over 60 local organizations to create opportunities for student learning through community impact – including agencies that focus on homelessness, economic development, education, youth empowerment, environmental sustainability, civil rights and health care. (Pictured, above, a Stetson student participates in Make A Difference Day, volunteering at a local after-school program.)

·         Bonner Program:  Through four-year internships at local non-profit organizations, Stetson’s 60 Bonner students align their academic and career goals with community needs – progressively moving into positions of increased leadership and building the capacity of community partners as program managers, site coordinators, grant writers, researchers, volunteer trainers and marketing directors.

“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

More information about Stetson University’s Center for Community Engagement can be found online at www.stetson.edu/community-engagement. More information about the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification can be found online at http://carnegieclassifications.iu.edu/descriptions/community_engagement.php.

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