St. Kate’s was recently awarded the prestigious Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation. It is a national organization that addresses issues the people of the organization care about in higher education. This award is given to colleges and universities that are deeply involved with communities at the local, regional, national and global levels.
This classification began in 2006. The application for the award is only available every five years, and this was St. Kate’s first time applying. The application focused on community engagement during the 2012-2013 academic year, and application process is extensive. The advisory team, made up of Martha Malinski, director of the Center for Community Work and Learning, Dean Alan Silva, Jamie Peterson, S. Amata Miller, Kate Barrett, Jennie Robinson Kloos, Deb Churchill, Amy Gage and Ellen Richter-Norgel, met for one year before submitting the application.
“The application itself is a pretty extensive self-study…It’s quite lengthy [and] it’s pretty rigorous…There are 40 different questions [and] it’s a 50 to 60 page document,” Malinski said.
Since the application was a self-study, the process involved the committee researching how people across campus, as well as alumni, are involved in community engagement. The committee decided to apply for many reasons, such as giving recognition to work that is currently happening with community engagement and to bring national attention to that work by measuring St. Kate’s against other universities around the country.
Colleges and universities are chosen for this award by submitting the application that is reviewed and awarded to campuses that the Carnegie Foundation thinks should be recognized with this distinction based on its merits. St. Kate’s received positive feedback and recommendations for improvement from the Foundation.
“We do a really good job of demonstrating in our mission how community engagement is part of our institution…part of the work that students do in their academic work, why faculty members come and teach here…I think there are some areas that we need to improve on…they were areas of assessment, reciprocal partnerships…and integrational alignment with other institutional initiatives,” Malinski said.
Due to the fact that community engagement is a large part of St. Kate’s mission and so important to the university, Malinski is proud that the relationships St. Kate’s has cultivated and the efforts it makes have been recognized at the national level by the Carnegie Foundation.
St. Kate’s was one of 83 institutions that received this award. The University of Minnesota, Morris and Gustavus Adolphus College also earned this award for the first time while Augsburg College, Metropolitan State University, The University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities earned reclassification.
A celebration in honor of St. Kate’s receiving this award will be held on Thursday, April 16 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Rauenhorst Hall in the Coeur de Catherine.