NSU is one of 115 U.S. colleges and universities in the country that recently earned The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2010 Community Engagement Classification.
The classification acknowledges significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement, said Carnegie Foundation President Anthony Bryk. It is awarded to colleges and universities that are dedicated to improving teaching and learning, as well as generating socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities.
“Earning this prestigious classification is a testament to NSU’s commitment to the community and to volunteerism in general,” said NSU Chancellor Ray Ferrero, Jr., J.D. “Part of this university’s mission and vision is to be actively engaged in the many communities we serve. NSU is proud to be among the few prestigious colleges and universities nationwide that were recognized by Carnegie.”
In order to earn the distinction, institutions have to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that show alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices.
The creation of NSU’s Office of Institutional and Community Engagement, led by Executive Director Barbara Packer-Muti, Ed.D., helped centralize and document NSU’s community engagement efforts. The office’s primary goal is to facilitate, coordinate, and document implementation of NSU’s institutional and community engagement initiatives.
There are currently over 1,000 community engagement projects taking place at NSU. Examples are:
- An annual free health fair for children ages birth to 15 called A Day for Children. The event includes screenings for vision, medical, speech, behavior, and dental as well as physical and occupational therapy.
- NSU’s colleges of dental medicine and optometry are providing dental and optometric care to underprivileged children at the nonprofit Kids in Distress in Wilton Manors.
- Law students from NSU’s Shepard Board Law Center provide pro bono legal services for people who are financially challenged.
- Undergraduate students from NSU’s Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences attend a “senior prom” each year, which is an evening of dinner and dancing to connect students and senior citizens. It stresses the importance of giving back to our seniors.
- High school students from NSU’s University School volunteer at the nonprofits Souper Bowl of Caring and Food for the Poor to feed hungry.
This year, 305 institutions registered to receive the Carnegie community engagement application. Of those, 115 were successfully classified as community engaged institutions. Sixty-six of those are public institutions and 49 are private. Thirty-five of the 115 are also classified as research universities, including NSU.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center that supports 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. The Foundation is located in Stanford, Calif. More information may be found on the Web site at www.carnegiefoundation.org.