The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently recognized Georgetown for its commitment to community outreach by selecting the university as a recipient of a 2008 Community Engagement Classification.

Created by the Carnegie Foundation in 2006, the Community Engagement Classification recognizes the importance of service and community engagement in higher education.

Georgetown was chosen because of its ongoing dedication to the establishment of community-based learning programs as well as community service and partnerships.

The award acknowledged 119 U.S. colleges and universities, including Duke and Villanova Universities.

“I think it’s important for all of us in higher education to have more and more schools recognize that this is an essential part of what it means to educate for the 21st century,” Kathleen Maas Weigert, executive director of the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, said in the university press release.

As opposed to Carnegie’s other higher education classifications that rely on national data, schools desiring to receive this particular award are required to submit applications that showcase both the nature and the extent of their involvement in the community.

Last year, Weigert began collecting materials for the application from the main campus and the Medical and Law Centers.

The university has several community-engagement programs including the Medical Center’s Capital Breast Care Center, which provides care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, the Law Center’s pro bono work and university-wide participation in tutoring programs.

“I think it’s a pattern of engagement by the whole university and that means all three campuses,” Weigert told THE HOYA. “I think it was that combination that said to Carnegie that this is indeed a campus that excels in community engagement.”

Weigert added that the effort to continue community outreach will expand as Georgetown works to continue meeting the goals of current programs and find more ways to get involved.

“I really do believe that when Archbishop John Carroll established this then-small school that is now this large university, he had in mind service to society, the church and the nation. I think engagement has been core to Georgetown from its origin,” Weigert said. “Our receiving this designation is another way of telling the story of Georgetown. It’s thrilling to be recognized by this great foundation, but even more thrilling that this is the work we do.”

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