Duquesne Again Receives Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Because of the ways Duquesne engages with its broader communities through teaching, research, student volunteerism, economic development involvement, and public-serving centers and institutes, the University has again been selected as one of the nation's few institutions to receive the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's Community Engagement Classification.

While 361 colleges and universities nationwide were chosen between 2010 and 2015 for this honor, Duquesne is the only one in southwestern Pennsylvania. The University first earned this prestigious classification in 2008 and will hold it for another 10 years.

The voluntary participation of Duquesne and other institutions has uniquely "enabled the foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities," according to the Carnegie Foundation.

"These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions," said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education and a Carnegie Foundation partner that administrates the Community Engagement Classification.

"Duquesne University was founded with the very specific goal of serving the needs of the immigrant communities in the City of Pittsburgh," commented Dr. Timothy Austin, the University's provost. "One hundred thirty-seven years later, and in ways the founders could not have foreseen, we are extending that tradition-as the Carnegie Foundation's judgment attests."

"The Carnegie classification recognizes what we do well and provides us with recommendations to grow even stronger as we enhance collaborations with our local communities and deepen the civic development of our students," said Dr. Lina Dostilio, director of the newly created Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR) and chair of the University's Carnegie Community Engagement Classification self-study committee.

To date, faculty, students, and staff across the University engage with many communities, some local and some international, with more than 120 community partnerships that are continued from year to year.

The classification framework asked that applicants provide example community partnerships that illustrate the institution's commitment to sustained collaboration with the public to solve pressing community issues. Duquesne's application highlighted many such partnerships, examples of which include:

  • Working with many Hill District stakeholders to establish the University pharmacy to address health care access and medication needs within the neighboring Hill District and beyond
  • Partnering psychology, sociology, business and English classes with community organizations that support immigrant and refugee resettlement in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area
  • Providing program evaluation services to a variety of community organizations such as ASSET, a math and science nonprofit
  • Offering training to 1,500 potential and fledgling small business owners
  • Providing psychological services for Spanish-speakers and military veterans
  • Collaborating with residents of a neighborhood to be demolished in Lisbon, Portugal, to make a film detailing the implications of relocation
  • Working across sectors and institutions to gather and analyze public health data on issues such as acid mine drainage and feral cat management so that program and policy recommendations can be made
  • Involving occupational therapy, education and humanities students in community change projects with vulnerable populations and distressed communities.

These examples provide a sampling of the community engagement efforts at Duquesne, but are only a small list. Every division at Duquesne has unique and powerful strategies to serve the community and achieve the University's mission, many of which are carried out through longstanding partnerships with community residents and leaders.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

It's time for bigger goals
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