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The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. The classification recognizes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities

This is a re-classification for UNC-Chapel Hill; the original classification was received in 2006.

As the first public university to open its doors, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has built a long tradition of service to the state of North Carolina that has evolved into an even deeper engagement that involves mutually beneficial partnerships between the University and communities in North Carolina and far beyond.

The Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS) is the pan-university entity for service and engagement. In addition, Carolina has a wide array of programs at the school and unit level, as well as 15 focused centers and institutes formally classified as public service entities and more than 600 officially-recognized student organizations, many focusing entirely on service. In a 2013 campus-wide survey regarding engagement and economic development, campus units reported more than 1,700 community partnerships involving more than 4,000 partners.

“Community engagement is not only part of our history here at Carolina, it is an essential part of our future,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Its connections to our teaching and research endeavors help distinguish who we are as an institution. The impact of Carolina’s commitment is as broad and deep as the thousands of activities throughout the state and around the world. But perhaps the biggest impact is the number of students who, because of their experiences while at Carolina, leave Chapel Hill well prepared for and dedicated to lives of service.”

Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification. Community engagement describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutual beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources.

The Community Engagement Classification was first offered in 2006. Since then, it has been given to 361 schools, 18 of which are in North Carolina. The next opportunity for institutions to apply for classification will be during the 2020 cycle.

Published January 9, 2015.