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Carnegie Recognizes Mount for Distinguished Service

Dec. 19, 2008 -- Mount Saint Mary’s University has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its distinguished record of service to greater Los Angeles.

The Foundation announced this week that the Mount is one of 119 U.S. colleges and universities selected for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. The Mount was designated exceptional in "Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships." This category includes outstanding work by the College in the classroom to engage students in projects that enhance the community, as well as programs outside of the classroom that place Mount students in mentoring and other service roles in the community.

"We are extremely pleased that Mount Saint Mary’s University has received this distinction," says Mount President Jacqueline Powers Doud. "The Mount infuses community engagement into all it does, from classroom instruction to volunteer projects in schools and organizations throughout Los Angeles."

Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, previously developed and offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. "We hope that by acknowledging the commitment and accomplishment of these engaged institutions, the Foundation will encourage other colleges and universities to move in this direction. Doing so brings benefits to the community and to the institution," adds Carnegie President Anthony S. Bryk.

At the Mount, students serve the local community through various activities and community partnerships. Some of these activities include: peer mentoring and tutoring for K-12 students, service-learning courses, and hosting fundraisers for local charities. Also, the College's Student Ambassador program provides college preparatory support and mentorship to more than 7,000 at-risk youth annually in the greater Los Angeles region.

The Foundation classified colleges and universities into one of three categories:

Curricular Engagement describes teaching, learning and scholarship which engage faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address community-identified needs, deepen students' civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being and enrich the scholarship of the institution.

Outreach and Partnerships
describes two different but related approaches to community engagement. The first focuses on the application and provision of institutional resources for community use with benefits to both campus and community. The latter focuses on collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration and application of knowledge, information, and resources.

Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships includes institutions with substantial commitments in both areas described above.

In order to be selected into any of the three categories, institutions had to provide descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices.

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