The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has once again recognized K-State for excellence. Already ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as a "very high research activity" university, K-State was named one of 115 institutions to receive the 2010 Community Engagement Classification.
The classification honors higher education institutions that collaborate with their larger communities and understand the benefits of a reciprocal exchange of knowledge and resources.
"Being designated as an engaged university speaks to the broad-based engagement and outreach work going on at K-State," said David Procter, director of the Center for Engagement and Community Development.
K-State has a long history of community engagement and outreach, and has used its research, teaching and service to help address issues facing communities in Kansas and worldwide.
The university is involved in more than 40 campus and community partnerships. K-State's application for the designation listed 15 exemplary university and community partnerships.
* The Advanced Manufacturing Institute, which works with businesses of all sizes—entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies—in every market imaginable, including manufacturing, transportation, aerospace, consumer products, agriculture, food, chemicals, plastics, bioprocessing, equipment and machinery. The Institute also manages an intern program that allows students to gain real work experience and the opportunity to work with skilled professionals.
* BESITOS: Bilingual/Bicultural Education Students Interacting to Obtain Success, a federally funded Title III grant that supports a Career Ladder Project. This project certifies/endorses and sponsors 37 students to earn a B.S. in education and become qualified bilingual/English as a Second Language-endorsed teachers. The goal is to recruit, prepare and mentor secondary students and paraprofessionals for teaching careers in bilingual education, increasing the quality of bilingual education for students in Kansas.
* Powercat Financial Counseling provides free information and education to K-State students who are seeking help with financial issues such as budgeting, credit use, saving, identity theft, investing, managing debt and expenses during and after college.
"The Community Engagement designation affirms the land-grant mission Kansas State University has always had," Procter said. "In the 21st century K-State remains committed to helping the state of Kansas."
In a letter to Procter, Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation, commended K-State for its "exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement."
"It is heartening to see this level of commitment and activity," Bryk said. "Clearly, higher education is making real strides in finding ways to engage with and contribute to important community agendas. There is much to celebrate."
As part of the selection process, officials also looked at categories that need further refinement and development. For K-State, the categories noted involved assessment, reciprocal partnerships, faculty rewards, and integration and alignment with other institutional initiatives.
While Carnegie Foundation officials encouraged more efforts be made to initiate a stronger dialogue with the community, the university was recognized for initiating and maintaining multiple collaborative partnerships.
K-State's application was a campuswide effort, Procter said, and included 24 campus participants. The university received the designation for its alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices, according to the Carnegie Foundation report.