University earns Carnegie nod

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

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The Carnegie Foundation is an independent policy and research center that supports transformations in American education.

A leading policy and research center today commended St. Cloud State University for "practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement."

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching added the university to its Community Engagement Classification, a roster of higher education institutions that exchange knowledge and resources with local, regional, state, national and global communities.

"Their certification and recognition is very special," President Earl H. Potter III told employees gathered at Spring Convocation today.

"I want to thank you all of you that worked to make that possible," Potter said. "This is a great achievement."

Founded by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation is based in Stanford, Calif.

"We hope you will see this as an opportunity to push your own efforts to a next level and also to mentor and support campuses that are in earlier stages of institutionalizing community engagement," said Anthony Bryk, Carnegie Foundation president.

St. Cloud State joins Winona State University, University of Minnesota, Augsburg College, Metropolitan State University, Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas as the only Minnesota institutions on the 311-school list (PDF).

The list includes nationally known public and private schools such as Purdue University, University of North Carolina, Georgetown University and Duke University.

The U.S. has nearly 3,000 four-year colleges and universities, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a federal agency in the Department of Education.

Potter has made community engagement the hallmark of his administration since joining St. Cloud State in June 2007.

A partial list of university-led community engagement initiatives includes:

  • The Welcome Center at Coborn Plaza, a multi-use facility between campus and downtown
  • A campaign to improve student behavior and reduce high-risk drinking in the University-Southside neighborhood
  • Pipelines Summer Camps which connects campus with communities that have historically low college-attendance rates
  • The Community Garden on Fifth Avenue, a cooperative food-producing garden
  • Expanded involvement with community organizations such as Neighborhood University Community Council and the Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative
  • The Science Express, a mobile laboratory that brings high-tech learning opportunities to out-state schools

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