Carnegie Foundation Honors Marian University for Community Engagement Efforts

by Katie Bradley | Jan 08, 2015

For the first time, Marian University has received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification for 2015.

The designation is given to colleges and universities that have developed mutually beneficial partnerships with local organizations and surrounding communities. The classification recognizes the ongoing involvement of college students, staff, and faculty, and community partners to improve the quality of life in Central Indiana and beyond.

In the award notification letter to the university, representatives of the Carnegie Foundation said its application “documented excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”

"Community engagement is a part of Marian University’s mission and identity, which calls for 'service to the world,'” said President Daniel J. Elsener.

“Our Franciscan values shape and guide students’ educational and moral formation as responsible citizens serving the world,” Elsener said. “These values and engagement are exemplified in civically engaged university initiatives.”

Among those initiatives are Students Taking Active Reflective Roles; Alternative Spring Break, in which students take mission trips; San Damiano Scholars Program for Church Leadership, for students who are considering a career in ministry; 21st Century Scholars Program; First-Year Experience Day of Service; and the Leighton School of Nursing program for medical faith-based mission work in Haiti.

Marian University offers 22 for-credit service learning programs in which 400 students, or nearly 20 percent of the undergraduate student body, enrolled. Twenty-eight faculty taught these courses.  Marian University also has a Hispanic Advisory Board that assesses external perceptions of the university’s commitment to Hispanic civic education through the Indiana Latino Institute, La Plaza of Indiana, and the Latino Division of the Girl Scouts.

In addition, Marian University manages Indiana Teach for America and Indianapolis Teaching Fellows. These teaching engagement programs include community perceptions and evaluations and impact on community in terms of teaching needs.

“As a civically engaged institution, Marian University now officially ranks alongside the best in the country, including Cornell, Notre Dame, Duke, Georgetown, Swarthmore and many others,” said James Norton, Ph.D., dean of the School of Liberal Arts. “While Carnegie honors the university’s preeminence in civic education, the ranking is not an end in itself but a beginning. We must march on and continue to create innovative civic programs and partnerships to ensure our Carnegie status and enrich our students' community-based learning for the future.”

Marian University was among three Indiana colleges to receive the distinction in 2015. Butler University received it for the first time and IUPUI, first recognized in 2006, was re-classified this year. A total of 240 U.S. colleges and universities were selected to receive the 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Of this number, 83 received the classification for the first time, while 157 are now reclassified, after being classified originally in 2006 or 2008. These 240 institutions join 121 institutions that earned the classification during the 2010 selection process, including Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

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