CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Receives National Recognition for Civic Engagement

Date: 01-08-2015

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico has recently received two honors for excellence in civic engagement and community service.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected CSU, Chico to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification, which is given to schools with a deep involvement with local, regional, national and global communities.

CSU, Chico was among an elite group of 74 colleges and universities in the country to receive this designation for the first time in 2006. Schools that received the classification in past years were invited to apply for a re-classification, which CSU, Chico received along with 156 other colleges and universities.

In order to be selected, institutions have to provide descriptions and examples of institutional practices of community engagement that align with the school’s mission, culture, leadership and resources.

The Carnegie Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first classification of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe the diversity of U.S. higher education.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes and is considered the leading framework for describing institutions of higher learning.

The Stanford-based Carnegie Foundation announced its 2015 Community Engagement Classification Jan. 7. The list of recipients plus criteria for selection can be found at this website.

In December, CSU, Chico was notified that it has once again been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. It was the seventh time in eight years that the University received this designation.

“The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities,” said Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in a letter to Honor Roll recipients. “Your selection to the Honor Roll is recognition from the highest levels of the federal government of your commitment to service and civic engagement on your campus and in our nation.”

Among CSU, Chico’s achievements in community service are

  • Annually, about 3,000 students from Community Action Volunteers in Education volunteer hours as classroom aides, as tutors and in many other much-needed capacities.
  • Thousands of Butte County residents have been assisted by the student-run Community Legal Information Center (CLIC).
  • Classroom learning is connected to public, democratic participation through the successful Town Hall Meeting and Great Debate programs, which engage hundreds of students each year.
  • The U-Course, launched last year, focuses students on public issues affecting the Chico community through a highly interactive, interdisciplinary curriculum.

“It is a great honor to have received these national awards for community and civic engagement,” said Ellie Ertle, director of the CSU, Chico Office of Civic Engagement. “Engagement and service are core to the Chico Experience and reflect a deep commitment to the value of civic engagement and democratic principles at CSU, Chico. Recognition for the civic accomplishments of hundreds of students, faculty and staff is deeply gratifying.”