Campus Life

UWF receives prestigious community engagement classification from Carnegie Foundation

The University of West Florida has been selected to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification, an honor designated to 361 institutions nationwide by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This is the first time UWF has received this prestigious classification.

“We are thrilled to have been selected for this classification,” UWF President Judy Bense said. “This honor exemplifies our effort and commitment to being a leader in our community and utilizing our resources, knowledge and research to make a positive difference in Northwest Florida and beyond.”

Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

The Community Engagement Classification is an elective classification, meaning institutions voluntarily participate by submitting required materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community. Central to the classification process is a “documentation framework” developed by a team of advisers to help applicants (and reviewers) assess the nature of an institution’s community engagement commitments. In order to be selected, institutions had to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.

This year, 241 first-time applicants registered to receive the application, 133 submitted applications and 83 were successfully classified as community engaged institutions. Among first-time recipients of the classification, 47 are public institutions and 36 are private. In terms of Carnegie’s Basic Classification, 28 are classified as research universities, 28 are master’s colleges and universities, 17 are baccalaureate colleges, four are community colleges and five institutions have a specialized focus – arts, medicine and other health professions. The recipients represent campuses in 33 states and U.S. territories.

A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found on NERCHE’s website,