The Carnegie Foundation has announced that Sam Houston State University is one of the 119 U.S. colleges and universities chosen to receive the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement. This honor marks the second time SHSU has received official designation from the foundation.
The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years. The title distinguishes SHSU as an institution doing exceptional work for the public good through teaching and research. Students, faculty and community members partner to create and exchange knowledge and resources, forming a broader, more diverse community of learners.
“The integration of community engagement, both culturally and academically, has been a hallmark in the success of our university and students,” SHSU President Dana Hoyt said. “I commend our faculty and staff in the Center for Community Engagement who have established long-term partnerships and programs that enhance student learning, meet community needs, and strengthen students’ commitment to community engagement.”
In 2010, SHSU was one of the first in Texas to receive the official Carnegie Foundation designation. According to Joyce McCauley, executive director of SHSU’s Center for Community Engagement, to maintain the title, institutions are required to participate in a lengthy re-classification process every ten years.
“We are a public institution focused on working for the public good and the Carnegie designation is a visible acknowledgement of what is fundamental to our mission. The application process is rigorous. However, it has challenged us to continually improve and helped us become an exemplary campus for community engagement,” McCauley said.
Long-term partnerships with community organizations have played a central role in achieving this recognition and benefit the region in a variety of ways.
“I am so proud of what the university and community are able to do when we work together. We truly do lift each other up,” said Andy Brauninger, mayor of Huntsville.
A total of 359 campuses are currently active holders of this important designation with only 11 institutions in Texas to hold the title. SHSU is the only institution in the Texas State University System with a Carnegie Engaged Campus Classification and the only public doctoral/professional institution in Texas to receive the classification.