NERCHE has released a working paper that provides the rationale for why “community-engaged” institutions must support non-tenure track faculty and their efforts to become community engaged. The next Carnegie Community Engagement classification cycle could provide a catalyst for campuses to positively distinguish themselves in this regard from their peer institutions.
In 2006, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching developed an elective classification for community engagement for institutions of higher education. NERCHE is the administrative partner for this Carnegie designation.
To receive the classification, campuses must complete an application and respond to questions by providing evidence that demonstrates a commitment to sustaining and increasing their community engagement efforts. Many of the application questions relate to policies and practices that affect faculty careers. For example, the 2015 Community Engagement Classification application asked institutions to describe relevant professional development opportunities and ways in which faculty community engagement is incentivized, recognized, and rewarded. These questions are important, as research has shown that faculty members are central to campus community engagement efforts (O’Meara, Sandmann, Saltmarsh, & Giles, 2011).