University News

WIU: Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

January 5, 2011

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- Because of Western Illinois University's commitment to community engagement and service learning, Western was recently selected for The Carnegie Foundation's Community Engagement Classification. The University, which is one of three Illinois public universities to receive the distinction, joins 310 other institutions across the U.S. achieving the Community Engagement Classification since its 2006 debut.

The foundation's website noted that 305 institutions registered to receive the 2010 community engagement application, up from 217 in 2008, and of the total applications received, 115 were successfully classified as community engagement institutions. According to The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Western's application documented "excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement."

Included in the WIU's application process to the foundation were such examples as Tri States Public Radio; WIU's Go West transit system that provides transportation services for University students and Macomb residents; and the WIU GIS Center, which works in tandem with McDonough County and city officials. In addition, the College of Fine Arts and Communication offers concerts and performances, which are open to the public, while the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western provides economic and community development services to businesses and communities throughout Illinois. Other examples cited included the Office of Student Activities linking students with volunteer opportunities within area communities, and WIU faculty members who offer service learning components as part of the coursework.

"The selection from The Carnegie Foundation exemplifies our commitment to our core values. I would like to thank Chris Merrett of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs for his work in completing the application process for this designation," said WIU President Al Goldfarb. "Western is dedicated to providing engaging academic and extracurricular experiences for our students within the University community, as well as serving as a cultural, educational and service resource to the Macomb and surrounding communities."

In addition to the Carnegie classification, earlier last year, for the second consecutive year, Western was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its exemplary service efforts.

"We work hand-in-hand with community leaders and organizations to provide opportunities for area residents, as well as for our students, faculty and staff within the community," added WIU Provost Jack Thomas.

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered by Congress in 1906, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center. Its current mission is to support needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge. For more information, visit

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Office of University Communications & Marketing