Gannon University Selected for 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Carnegie_logoPosted: January 7, 2015

Gannon University was among the 240 U.S. colleges and universities selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

This honor recognizes Gannon's deep historical commitment to service and care for humanity and the Erie community. The touchstone for this engagement is the Erie-Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability (Erie-GAINS) initiative, a long-term, mutually beneficial community initiative designed to expand the University's efforts to support the common good of the community. Through Erie-GAINS, Gannon University reaches out to the community through programs in neighborhood and economic development, education, health and wellness and environmental sustainability.

The Archbishop Gannon Scholars Program provides funds that combined with federal and state grant funds, covers the cost of attendance for qualifying students in the Erie Public Schools without loan debt. This program, and other programs like it, assures access to high-quality, values-based learning informed by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition and the University's Mission to educate socially responsible world citizens.

"Gannon University is honored to be recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for commitment to the community that we serve and from which we draw strength," said Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D. "Engaging in the community is a strategic goal that is articulated by our Erie-GAINS (Gannon Alliances to Improve Neighborhood Sustainability) and many other initiatives, which we feel are essential to the continued growth and prosperity of both the campus and the community."

Institutions applying for the Carnegie Classification voluntarily submitted materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, enabling the foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.

This year, 241 first-time applicants registered to receive the application for classification, 133 institutions submitted applications, and 83 were successfully classified as community engaged institutions.

"On behalf of the many people at Gannon University who participated in the extensive effort that culminated in this honor, I want to thank the Carnegie Foundation for this recognition, which we accept with gratitude, humility and a redoubled commitment to serve our community," said Pamela Reynolds, Ed.D., professor of physical therapy, who chaired the committee that responded to the application.

Among first-time recipients of the classification, 47 are public institutions and 36 are private. In terms of Carnegie's Basic Classification, 28 are classified as research universities, 28 are master's colleges and universities, including Gannon University, 17 are baccalaureate colleges, four are community colleges, and five institutions have a specialized focus--arts, medicine, and other health professions. They represent campuses in 33 states and U.S. territories. Gannon University is the sole institution in Erie County to receive the honor.

"The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities," said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE). "These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions."

A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found here