Carnegie Foundation Recognizes CSUSM’s Excellence in Community Engagement
By Margaret Chantung
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced in January that California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is the recipient of the 2015 Community Engagement Classification, recognizing the institution’s commitment to engagement through teaching, research, service and partnerships. CSUSM first received this designation in 2006, when it was one of only 12 institutions in the state, and 76 nationwide to be honored. Since that time, the program has grown, and CSUSM is now joined by 360 other colleges and universities in the United States—and 33 statewide—to carry this prestigious distinction, which is valid through 2025.
“Today’s announcement is an impressive testament to the rich spirit of community involvement that characterizes the work of our students, faculty and staff,” said CSUSM President Karen Haynes.
CSUSM has long held community engagement—the collaboration between the university and its larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources, in a context of partnership and reciprocity, as a cornerstone of its institutional mission. Every day the University works collaboratively across divisions and departments to build a stronger and more vibrant community by connecting CSUSM knowledge with community knowledge in mutually beneficial ways.
In order to be selected for the Carnegie classification, CSUSM submitted a72-page document which included data and documentation of its university-community partnerships that are collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic and transformative.
“Your application documented excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement, and it responded to the classification framework with both descriptions and examples of exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement,” wrote Anthony Bryk, Carnegie Foundation president, in a letter announcing the decision.
Among the highlights of CSUSM’s community engagement efforts are:
CSUSM’s satellite campus in Temecula, established in 2008 thanks to the work of innovative public/private partnerships;
the Community Engagement Division, opened in 2011, which is home to CSUSM’s Office of Tribal Engagement and Office of Civic Engagement;
the CSU Institute for Palliative Care, the first state-wide educational and workforce development initiative focused on palliative care education founded at CSUSM in 2012;
and the Alliance to Accelerate Excellence in Education, founded in 2013, which serves approximately 200,000 students across the University’s ten K-12 guaranteed admission school districts;
“As a public university, I believe that community engagement is an obligation,” reflected Haynes. “Quite simply, community engagement makes sense because it builds on a core CSUSM strength: putting academic inquiry at the service of solving real-world problems. In the case of Cal State San Marcos, what I wish to emphasize is that everything we do—every initiative, every project, every program, every event—grows out of a deeply ingrained institutional culture of community engagement.”
View the highlights of CSUSM's activities that merit such an honor.