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Wayne State University earns national recognition for commitment to community engagement

January 27, 2009

Designated by Carnegie Foundation as a ‘Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships' institution

A strong commitment to community outreach, including coursework focusing on community engagement, has resulted in designation of Wayne State University as a Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships institution by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The foundation is an independent policy and research center that develops tools and ideas to foster positive change and to enhance learning in the nation's schools.

"We are proud and honored to receive this designation," said Wayne State President Jay Noren. "It affirms that we at Wayne State University make a profound effort to incorporate community engagement into the mainstream of our curriculum, research and public service. This is a testimony to the vision and commitment of both past and present leaders at this university as well as to the enthusiastic dedication of our faculty, staff and students."

Wayne State is among only 111 institutions of higher education in the country that were approved for the designation in 2008. Participation in the classification system is voluntary.

The university's longstanding commitment to the city of Detroit and the metropolitan area includes research and service curricula that are conducted in the community or that directly benefit the community. It also includes use of resources in the community and ongoing interaction with residents and organizations.

Specific examples at Wayne State include more than 300 courses in 55 departments that have a community service aspect. More than 4,800 WSU students participated in these learning experiences in the past academic year, while 355 faculty members taught courses with a service-learning component.

The Carnegie Foundation describes "curricular engagement" as teaching, learning and scholarship that engages faculty, students, and the community in mutually beneficial collaboration. "Outreach" focuses on application and provision of institutional resources for community use, while "partnerships" focuses on interaction with the community. Wayne State was judged as meeting the foundation's standards in each of these categories.

Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 31,000 students.