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SF State named a Community Engagement Institution

December 21, 2006

Photo of a group of students, shovels in hand, who are planting plants as part of a community service learning classSF State, a national leader in socially responsible education, is among the first colleges and universities classified as "Community Engagement Institutions" by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

SF State is one of 76 colleges and universities nationwide to receive the designation and one of 62 such institutions awarded the classification in two categories: Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnership. Three Bay Area colleges and universities received the new designation, which was developed to paint a more accurate picture of the complexity and diversity of higher education.

The Stanford-based foundation selected SF State for its substantial commitments to "teaching, learning and scholarship which engage faculty, students and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration."

At SF State more than 300 courses combine academic study with community involvement. During the 2005-2006 academic year, 8,463 students volunteered 332,348 hours in agencies and nonprofits throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Valued at the San Francisco minimum wage, those staffing contributions total $2.8 million.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is the leading classification system used by researchers, policymakers, charitable foundations, and magazines that rank colleges, including U.S. News and World Report. Unlike The Carnegie Foundation's other classifications that rely on national data, the new Community Engagement is an "elective" classification. SF State submitted required documentation describing the nature and extent of its engagement with the community.

"San Francisco State is honored to be included in this important new classification, which recognizes the obligation of higher education to engage in community and civic affairs, for the betterment of society," President Robert A. Corrigan said. "Our students and faculty, with tremendous support from the entire San Francisco Bay Area, continue to carry on the spirit of service in their personal and professional lives years after they graduate."

The Carnegie designation is the latest honor SF State has received for its longtime commitment to civic engagement and volunteerism. Earlier this year, the University was among the first to receive the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Award from the Corporation for National and Community Service. In 2005, Princeton Review named SF State one of 81 "Colleges with a Conscience" for having "both an administration committed to social responsibility and a student body actively engaged in serving society."

SF State is also a national leader in its acknowledgement of service: In 2004, SF State became one of the first universities in the nation to include on student transcripts community volunteer work hours completed as part of coursework.

Since 1997, the Office of Community Service Learning has awarded nearly $400,000 in Community Scholarship Faculty Grants to establish community service learning courses at SF State.

-- Matt Itelson


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Last modified December 21, 2006 by University Communications