For the second time, La Salle University has earned the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, through the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Howard R. Swearer Center at Brown University.
The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification is the highest standard of recognition for community engagement efforts at institutions of higher education. It recognizes institutional alignment of campus and University mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices to support dynamic community engagement. La Salle first earned the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2010.
La Salle is one of 243 institutions nationally to receive this important designation, which is valid until 2026.
“We are humbled and honored to once again receive this prestigious classification from the Carnegie Foundation,” said University President Dr. Colleen M. Hanycz. “The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification recognizes the culture of our University, where teaching, learning, service, and social justice are at the root of everything we do. Our students enter our University in search of an education, and they exit with an ability to look critically at the world through a justice lens and work to make the world a better place. For us, community engagement is central to our mission, and we live that mission each day.”
The Carnegie Foundation outlines community engagement as a higher education institution’s collaboration with the larger community—at the local, regional, state, national, and global levels—to create partnership, reciprocity, and an exchange of knowledge and resources that is mutually beneficial.
“Recognition from the Carnegie Foundation affirms both the breadth and the quality of community engagement at La Salle,” said Tara Carr-Lemke, director of La Salle’s Explorer Connection and assistant director of the University’s De La Salle Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning. “Our application process uncovered the sheer number of faculty and staff committed to building thoughtful, reciprocal relationships with community partners that transform the educational experiences of students, shape the scholarly endeavors of faculty, and enhance the potential impact of the institution.”
The Carnegie Foundation classification requires voluntary participation by colleges and universities, and independent data collection and documentation of aspects of the institution like its mission, commitment, and identity as they relate to community engagement. A national panel reviews each institution’s submission in determining which colleges and universities earn classification.
Consistent with its mission, La Salle adheres to continuous engagement with its community—across curricular and non-curricular programming, and in external community work. Manifestations of this commitment include:
La Salle Neighborhood Nursing Center, a grant-funded, nurse-managed wellness center, has served as a community resource to the city’s Belfield neighborhood since 1991;
La Salle Community Scholars Program, an initiative that allows Philadelphia high school students to enroll in select courses at the University;
Two Speech-Language-Hearing Community Clinics, which cater to the diagnostic and therapeutic needs of adults and children with communication or swallowing disorders;
Lasallian Immersion and Volunteer Experience (LIVE) program, which connects University students with learning and service opportunities and first-hand experience of social justice issues both in the U.S. and abroad;
Community Engaged Learning programs, a series of both curricular and co-curricular, interdisciplinary programs intended to leverage the assets of Philadelphia to encourage educational opportunities with the city and its residents;
and the University’s annual Community Health Fair, offering wellness checks and biometric screenings, and access to wellness information from specialists and healthcare providers—all at no expense.
—Christopher A. Vito