Washington (Jan. 8, 2024)—Forty U.S. colleges and universities received the 2024 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation awarded by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching that highlights an institution’s commitment to community engagement. A listing of all the institutions that currently hold the Classification endorsement can be found here.

“We recognize these institutions for their exceptional commitment to community engagement, and their work to transform knowledge into meaningful action,” said Timothy Knowles, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. “They exemplify the true spirit of the Carnegie endorsement and the power of serving the public good.” 

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution. The 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.

Of the 40 institutions classified in the 2024 cycle, 18 are receiving the classification for the first time while 22 are now re-classified, after being classified originally in 2015 or 2020. They join the 350 currently classified institutions that earned classification in either 2015 or 2020, for a total of 368 campuses who are currently active holders of this important designation.

Among the 2024 recipients of the classification, 25 are public institutions and 15 are private. Nine are Minority Serving Institutions and three are community colleges. 

“Now is the opportune moment to pay attention to these recently classified and re-classified institutions, as they dedicate themselves to fortifying their public purpose missions. Let us draw inspiration from their remarkable contributions through community engagement, enhancing both teaching and research, and simultaneously benefiting the wider community,” said Ted Mitchell, president of ACE.

The application for the 2026 Elective Classification for Community Engagement will be available Jan. 26, 2024, and applications will be due by April 1, 2025, with the announcement of the newly designated campuses in January 2026. Click here for more information about the application and the timeline.

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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 and the Carnegie Foundation announced a partnership in February 2022 to reimagine the Classifications to better reflect the diversity of postsecondary institutions and more completely characterize the impact that today’s institutions have in society.

About ACE

ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,600 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on X (formerly known as Twitter) @ACEducation.

About The Carnegie Foundation

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 TIAA-CREF and the creation of the Education Testing Service, the GRE, and the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education. The Foundation was also instrumental in the formation of the U.S. Department of Education and Pell Grants, and most recently in the use of networked improvement science to redress systemic inequities in educational opportunities and outcomes.

Audrey Hamilton