The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected the University of Richmond for its classification recognizing colleges and universities "that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement."

The Community Engagement Classification is awarded to institutions that demonstrate a commitment to service and partnership with their local communities. As part of the designation, the university is recognized for its mission, culture and leadership, as well as its ongoing activities devoted to community engagement.

Richmond's strategic plan, The Richmond Promise, requires a strong institutional commitment to community engagement, including serving the needs of the metro area by university leaders, faculty and students. Last year alone, the university offered 47 community-based learning courses taken by more than 1,100 students, bringing together students and faculty with local organizations to complete projects in the local area.

"Being one of only 311 colleges selected for the classification out of more than 4,000 in the country is welcome affirmation that ours is a university for Richmond," said university President Edward L. Ayers. "It recognizes our work to develop and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with community partners, identifying and meeting their needs as well as those of our students."

The university has successfully institutionalized community engagement activities through its Bonner Center for Civic Engagement, pro bono legal clinics and UR Downtown, making community engagement a part of the curriculum through community-based learning courses and engaged faculty research.

Richmond is among only 16 of the top 50 national liberal arts colleges as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and one of five Virginia institutions, to receive the Community Engagement Classification. The university was classified in the highest level of community engagement for both curricular engagement, and outreach and partnerships.

For the past two years, Richmond also has been listed on the President's Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

"Through a classification that acknowledges significant commitment to and demonstration of community engagement, the 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 foundation President Anthony Bryk. "We are very pleased with the movement we are seeing in this direction."

The foundation is an independent policy and research center that supports needed 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.