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ETSU selected for Carnegie Foundation 2008 Community Engagement Classification

Tuesday, December 23, 2008JOHNSON CITY—East Tennessee State University is among the 119 institutions of higher learning selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. Some 147 institutions vied for the honor.

Colleges and universities “with an institutional focus on community engagement” applied for the classification.

“We hope that by acknowledging the commitment and accomplishment of these engaged institutions, the Foundation will encourage other colleges and universities to move in this direction. Doing so brings benefits to the community and to the institution,” said Carnegie President Anthony S. Bryk.

ETSU is one of the 111 schools named to honors in both the “Curricular Engagement” category and in “Outreach and Partnerships.”

“Curricular Engagement” is described as teaching, learning, and scholarship which engage faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address community-identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being, and enrich the scholarship of the institutions.

“Outreach and Partnerships” describes two different but related approaches to community engagement. The first focuses on the application and provision of institutional resources for community use with benefits to both campus and community. The second approach focuses on collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources.

The categories of engagement are demonstrated at East Tennessee State University through academic programs such as service-learning courses and community outreach programs including GEAR UP, migrant education, the Math-Science Center of Excellence, America Reads, and rural and community health initiatives. ETSU has many years of curricular involvement as faculty, staff, and students seek ways to learn by serving others. Over the past 15 years, ETSU has served the health needs of the region, provided valuable programs for local schools, and assisted youth, the elderly, veterans, and families at risk.

“Fostering civic responsibility is a major part of our educational mission here at ETSU,” said Dr. Deborah Harley, assistant vice president for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership. “We must provide these experiences for our students, who are our future leaders. Our ability to be engaged is what makes the difference between a thriving community and one that fails its citizens.”

For further information, contact Harley at (423) 439-5675 or


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