On January 7, 2015, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced the University of Southern Indiana was successful in its renewal application for the Community Engagement Classification. USI was first classified in 2008, and is one of only 361 campuses nationwide that hold this designation.
The classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification, meaning that it is based on voluntary participation by institutions. The elective classification involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments, and requires substantial effort invested by participating institutions.
This achievement recognizes USI's ongoing collaboration with the Tri-state community and beyond in both curricular engagement and outreach and partnerships. In its notice to the University of reclassification, the Carnegie Foundation said USI “documented excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement, and responded to the classification framework with both descriptions and examples of exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement.”
The Foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.