Kennesaw State receives Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification

Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement seal

New designation recognizes connection to the community through volunteerism, outreach and service…

Georgia (Jan 7, 2015)New designation recognizes connection to the community through volunteerism, outreach and service

KENNESAW, Ga.  (Jan. 7, 2015) — Kennesaw State University has earned the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a highly sought-after designation among higher education institutions. 

The new classification places Kennesaw State among the top 10 percent of universities nationally that have earned recognition for ongoing collaborative efforts with their larger communities in a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. The newly earned designation is valid through 2025. 

“This important and prestigious Carnegie classification recognizes the many ways that Kennesaw State connects with the community,” said Kennesaw State University President Daniel S. Papp. “It validates the University’s core mission of serving the public good. There is a deep respect and passion for community engagement at KSU. Earning this classification deepens our commitment to this institutional priority that is well aligned with our focus on community-based teaching, learning and scholarship.”

In explaining their determination, Carnegie Foundation officials noted that Kennesaw State’s voluntary description of programs and processes demonstrated “excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practicesthat support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”

Kennesaw State was recognized for numerous initiatives and activities that create, expand and perpetuate community engagement. Among them:

  • Institutional efforts such as creating an Office of Community Engagement within the Division of Academic Affairs to support current community-campus partnerships and cultivate new ones; 
  • Providing access to knowledge and events to enrich the community, with more than 3,000 events open to the public and over 120,000 community members touring KSUmuseums or visiting the Rare Book Room during 2012-13;
  • Nearly a dozen institutional and academic college-level honors and awards programs to recognize students, faculty, staff and community partners who volunteer and excel in their efforts to serve communities from local to international;
  • A Volunteer KSU (VKSU) office, which actively recruits, trains and provides transportation for students who volunteer to work at some 300 local service organizations and agencies;
  • Active engagement with a community partnership affinity group called Corporate Partners, which advises the institution on community perceptions and identifies opportunities to expand connections with Kennesaw and the larger community.

In 2010, Papp envisioned Kennesaw State University as “Georgia’s engaged university.” He established the University’s “Engage KSU” initiative in response to the challenges of becoming a nationally recognized leader in community engagement. This initiative was the first step in creating a unified and cohesive approach to community engagement and establishing goals and standards in three critical areas: scholarship and creative activity; teaching; and community service.

Kennesaw State is one of 361 institutions – and one of only 10 in Georgia – that holds the Community Engagement Classification. In 2025, the University must complete a reclassification application and demonstrate how the University has expanded, deepened and integrated community engagement work.

The Office of Community Engagement at Kennesaw State was integral in providing evidence-based documentation of the institutional practices as part of the voluntary application process.

“Kennesaw State University responded to the classification framework with both descriptions and examples of exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement,” said Anthony S. Bryk, Carnegie Foundation president. “The application also documented evidence ofcommunity engagement in a coherent and compellingresponse to the framework’s inquiry.”

The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education began classifying colleges and universities in 1970 to support its program of research and policy analysis. It is widely considered the leading framework for recognizing and describing the diverse types of higher education in the U.S. over the past four decades. The Community Engagement classification began in 2006.


About the Carnegie Foundation

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is committed to developing networks of ideas, individuals and institutions to advance teaching and learning. It joins together scholars, practitioners and designers in new ways to solve problems of educational practice. Toward this end, the foundation works to integrate the discipline of improvement science into education with the goal of building the field’s capacity to improve.

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of nearly 26,000 from 130 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit