St. Kate's Earns Coveted National Classification
TO FULFILL the service-learning component of a psychology class, Taylor Britten ’15 worked at the Women’s Prison Book Project in Minneapolis. There, she spent her days reading letters and fulfilling requests for reading materials from women in prisons across the United States.
Britten was one of 850 St. Catherine University students last fall who partnered with a nonprofit to complete over 7,740 hours of community work. The University’s student service-learning opportunities and diverse community partnerships have earned St. Catherine a 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
St. Kate’s is among 36 private colleges and universities in the nation selected for first-time classification. Institutions can reapply every 10 years to sustain their classification. In a letter, the Carnegie Foundation praised the University for its “...excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”
Unlike the foundation’s other classifications that rely on national data, this one is voluntary. Institutions are asked to document the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond.
“Community engagement is a part of the fabric of our institution,” says Martha Malinski, who led the Center for Community Work and Learning for 10 years. (D’Ann Urbaniak Lesch is the new director, effective June 12.). “I am honored that our continued and expanded efforts have been recognized on a national level by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation.”
In May, the center earned another distinction. It was named to the President of the United States’ 2014 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll (economic opportunity category) for “service that improves the financial wellbeing and security of economically disadvantaged individuals.”