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JCC Earns Community Engagement Classification

Jefferson Community College (JCC) is pleased to announce it has earned Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Stanford, California. Jefferson is the first community college in New York State and one of only 12 community colleges across the nation to attain this significant award. Jefferson and the 114 other U.S. colleges and universities awarded this classification join the 196 institutions identified in the 2006 and 2008 selection processes.

Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Carnegie Foundation’s other classifications that rely on national data, this is an “elective” classification whereby institutions elected to participate by submitting required documentation describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. This approach enabled the Carnegie Foundation to address elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.

To achieve Community Engagement classification, institutions must demonstrate success in the areas of curricular engagement and outreach/partnerships. Curricular engagement is best described as teaching, learning, and scholarship that engage faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address community-identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being, and enrich the scholarship of the institution. Outreach focuses on the application and provision of institutional resources for community use with benefits to both campus and community. Partnerships focus on collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application of knowledge, information, and resources.

“We are delighted we received the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification,” said Carole A. McCoy, president of Jefferson Community College. “The classification recognizes the many collaborations and partnerships between Jefferson Community College and our community, while at the same time encouraging us to deepen and expand them further. We take the word “community” in our name very seriously and it is reaffirming to have the Carnegie Foundation recognize us for this.”

“Through a classification that acknowledges significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement, the (Carnegie) Foundation encourages colleges and universities to become more deeply engaged, to improve teaching and learning, and to generate socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities,” said Carnegie President Anthony Bryk. “We are very pleased with the movement we are seeing in this direction.”

“Through the process of applying for the Carnegie Classification in Community Engagement, we have developed a foundation to further identify opportunities in partnering with the community,” said Craig D. Johnson, vice president for community engagement at Jefferson Community College.

About the Carnegie Foundation

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, located in Stanford, California, is an independent policy and research center that supports transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge.

SUNY Jefferson: Celebrating 50 Years of Learning ~ Changing Lives

Established on November 7, 1961, Jefferson Community College was the area’s first institution of higher education. Supervised by the State University of New York (SUNY), Jefferson offers 30+ associate degrees and certificates for career preparation or transfer; local access to bachelor’s and advanced degrees through partner institutions; lifelong learning through workshops and seminars; business and industry training; and cultural enrichment opportunities for the entire Watertown/Fort Drum region. Jefferson is accredited by the Middle States Association and currently serves approximately 3,800 students from Jefferson, Lewis, Oswego, and St. Lawrence counties, including a significant number of service members and their families.