Stonehill Awarded Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification
january 5, 2009

Joseph Favazza

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has acknowledged Stonehill's numerous community engagement efforts by approving the College for its Community Engagement Classification in two categories, Curricular Engagement as well as Outreach and Partnerships.

Nationally, Stonehill was one of 18 baccalaureate colleges selected and the only liberal arts college in Massachusetts to earn the distinction.

"One of the things that makes Stonehill distinctive is its exceptional curricular and co-curricular service initiatives. This honor recognizes the commitment of the College to community engagement. It also acknowledges the dedication of our non-profit partners, as well as the outstanding efforts of our students, so many of whom undertake volunteer and community-based learning opportunities," said Director of Community Service & Volunteerism Nuala Boyle.

"We hope that by acknowledging the commitment and accomplishment of these engaged institutions, the Foundation will encourage other colleges to move in this direction," the Foundation's president, Anthony Bryk, said in the written statement.

The selection process was overseen by a National Advisory Panel, which consisted of several scholars and experts in the field of community outreach.

The elective classification provides a way for institutions to describe their identity and commitments to community with a public and nationally recognized classification.

A total of 147 institutions applied for the classification while 119 were approved, including Duke University, Georgetown University, the University of Michigan, and several other leading colleges and universities.

Boyle organized a group of six Stonehill administrators last spring to begin work on the application process, which involved extensive data collection on the College's numerous civic engagement activities.

The Stonehill community has established strong ties with the local community through several service organizations and programs such as the student-run Into the Streets program.

The Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM) hosts many programs for community-based nonprofit organizations throughout the year, including over 100 in 2008.

The CNM's signature learning program, the Breakfast Series, brings together nonprofit professionals and volunteers each month for training sessions over breakfast. It has also developed, coordinated, and hosted an Executive Peer Coaching group.

A 2008 grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance will allow the CNM to develop and implement a three-part Volunteer Impact Series for nonprofits and their volunteers as well.

On yet another front, Stonehill received a private foundation grant to establish a formal community-based learning program which will help further extend the College's outreach to the community. The $238,959 grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation.

Service learning has been growing at the College over the last several years as faculty have sought to connect students' learning in the classroom to real-world experience.

Given the blossoming of the service learning opportunities, the 2006 edition of the annual Stonehill Faculty Focus had as its theme "The Community as Classroom."

Students and faculty have also traveled across the globe to study and explore service opportunities while several well-noted speakers have visited the College to discuss globalization.

Each year, many students and faculty spend their spring break traveling to places inside and outside the U.S. for a week of service through the Campus Ministry Alternative Spring Break Program H.O.P.E.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an Act of Congress.

For over three decades, the Carnegie Classification has been the leading framework for describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education. It has been widely used in the study of higher education, both as a way to represent and control institutional differences.

The six members of the Stonehill administration involved in the application process included Boyle, Director of the Center for Non-Profit Management Georgia Antonopoulos, Campus Minister Maura Proulx Carpinello, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Dean of the Faculty Joe Favazza, Director of the Center of Teaching/Learning Stacy Grooters, and Associate Director of Campus Ministry Judy Henry McMullan.

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