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Washington and Lee University Receives National Designation for Commitment to Community Engagement W&L is one of 15 private colleges and universities to receive the 2024 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

Carnegie_Elective_Community-Engagement.jpg-1-350x350 Washington and Lee University Receives National Designation for Commitment to Community Engagement

Washington and Lee University has been awarded the 2024 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates an institutional commitment to community engagement.

W&L was one of 40 U.S. colleges and universities to receive this classification from the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching during its 2024 certification cycle. W&L is one of 368 institutions that currently hold the classification endorsement.

“Meaningful collaboration between our campus and community partners is an important part of the W&L experience, and we are grateful to be recognized for our commitment to community engagement,” said University Provost Lena Hill. “Professor Sascha Goluboff’s leadership has been critical in developing an umbrella for our Community-Based Learning efforts, and I look forward to seeing how our students, faculty and staff continue to prioritize the needs of our community and make a positive difference in Lexington, Rockbridge County and beyond.”

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 19 years with classification cycles in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2020 and now, 2024. The classification is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution, which is then assessed by a national review committee. As one of only 15 private institutions included in this year’s cycle, W&L has demonstrated dynamic and noteworthy community engagement through its mission, campus culture, leadership, resources and practices.

W&L’s extensive commitment to community engagement can be found across the university’s campus, with many programs and initiatives facilitated by the Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL). Community-based learning is an educational approach that integrates learning and mentorship with meaningful community partnerships, and the CBL office offers numerous opportunities for W&L students, faculty and staff to support these partnerships through coursework, research, service projects and internships.

“Washington and Lee’s receiving The Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement marks the successful completion of a year-long process in which the Office of Community-Based Learning, the Community Engagement Service-Learning Committee, and key staff, professors, instructors and administrators collaborated in an unprecedented effort to showcase W&L’s commitment to our community engagement efforts on campus and with our community partners,” said Sascha Goluboff, professor of cultural anthropology and director of community-based learning. “We are honored to receive this recognition, and I can’t wait to see how our institutional commitment to community engagement will continue to grow in the near future.”

Student community engagement and service-learning opportunities at W&L are plentiful and interdisciplinary, allowing students to connect classroom learning to the real world, gain experience addressing real-world problems and build positive relationships with the Lexington and Rockbridge County communities. During the 2023-24 academic year, 24 community-based learning courses were offered to students across a range of academic disciplines, including English, education, sociology and anthropology, cognitive and behavioral science, accounting, and poverty and human capability studies.

W&L also facilitates community engagement and mentorship opportunities for faculty members, particularly through the CBL Faculty Collaborative, which trains faculty and instructors on the best and most innovative practices in community-based learning, as well as provides them with critical resources and connections across campus to foster professional growth and course development.

Recent examples of W&L’s community-based learning classes include:

About the Carnegie Classifications

The Carnegie Classifications are the nation’s leading framework for categorizing and describing colleges and universities in the United States. Utilized frequently by policymakers, funders and researchers, the classifications are a critical benchmarking tool for postsecondary institutions.

ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. It is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities.

The mission of the Carnegie Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified and fulfilling life. Enacted by an act of Congress in 1906, the foundation has a rich history of driving transformational change in the education sector, including the establishment of the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education.