BU receives initial Carnegie Classification

For Immediate Release:  Jan. 7, 2015

BLOOMSBURG — Bloomsburg University is one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities awarded the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2015 Community Engagement Classification. Eighty-three institutions, including BU, are receiving the classification for the first time.

A total of 361 colleges and universities have attained the designation, which demonstrates an institutional commitment to volunteerism and community involvement. Institutions participate voluntarily by submitting materials describing the nature and extent of their engagement in projects and initiatives that benefit the community.

According to Tim Pelton, BU’s civic engagement coordinator, the application contains 36 questions focused on the manner in which civic engagement is woven into an institution’s culture.

“To receive the Carnegie Classification, we had to show that civic engagement is integrated into Bloomsburg’s mission and supported by the institution,” he said. “The heart of the application required details to show that community service is an important part of classwork, organization and club activities, athletics and Greek life at BU.”

Included in BU’s application was:

  • construction of the BU Foundation’s Greenly Center as an investment in the community
  • Community Government Association’s involvement in major improvements along the Lightstreet Road/Route 487 corridor, including the upcoming project to widen the intersection with Country Club Road
  • student athletes’ volunteer efforts
  • Celebrity Artist Series’ enrichment of the area’s arts and entertainment environment

BU President David Soltz’s remarks about the importance of civic engagement to the BU community further illustrated the institution’s commitment, said Pelton, who completed the application with Jean Downing, director of SOLVE, and Heather Feldhaus, director of the Center for Community Research and Consulting and associate professor of sociology, social work and criminal justice.

First-time recipients of the classification include 47 public institutions and 36 private colleges and universities in 33 states and U.S. territories. Two of BU’s sister institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education — Millersville and West Chester universities — are among the 24 Community Engagement Classified institutions in the commonwealth.

BU also was named to the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service for the fifth consecutive year and sixth time overall. The honor roll recognizes institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes as they place students on a lifelong path of civic engagement and help solve community problems.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.