The Carnegie Foundation has announced that Adelphi University is one of the 119 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement.

Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification LogoThis important classification is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution and assessed by a national review committee led by the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University, the administrative and research home for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

“These newly classified and reclassified institutions are doing exceptional work to forward their public purpose in and through community engagement that enriches teaching and research while also benefiting the broader community,” noted Mathew Johnson, PhD, executive director of the Swearer Center.

Adelphi was also awarded the 2010 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification and named in Carnegie’s 2015 list of designated honorees. This renewed classification is valid until 2026.

“I am proud that we have again earned the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification,” said Adelphi President Christine Riordan. “It is an honor to be recognized for our hallmark commitment to civic engagement and service learning which continues to be a high priority in our curriculum and current strategic plan, Momentum. Since our founding in 1896, our deeply-rooted dedication to community and service has long-made Adelphi a strong collaborator in helping to advance community goals and underpins the world-class academic experience that students come here for.”

President Riordan credited Adelphi’s recently retired dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and former interim provost, Sam L Grogg, PhD, for spearheading the self-study that resulted in the University’s continued recognition with the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

Adelphi collaborates with a broad range of partners to offer engaging new opportunities to its students, such as teaming up with Brookhaven National Laboratory to launch a new minor in scientific computing last year. Adelphi’s Robert B. Willumstad School of Business also initiated a job-shadowing program with outstanding area companies and the Jaggar Community Fellows Program just marked 10 years of providing students with paid summer internships at not-for-profits. The University and its students are engaged with area schools, help provide various health services, such as a speech and hearing clinic, and regularly participate in a variety of community service projects. See more about Adelphi’s engagement with the community.

Of the 119 institutions classified by the Carnegie Foundation in the 2020 cycle, 44 are receiving the classification for the first time, while 75 are now reclassified after being classified originally in 2010 or 2015. These institutions—which represent 37 states and U.S. territories—join the 240 institutions that earned the classification during the 2015 selection process, for a total of 359 campuses which are currently active holders of the designation.

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years, with multiple classification cycles in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2020.

“We also note that many more institutions who are not receiving classification today are doing similar important work, and we celebrate them as well,” Dr. Johnson added. “It is clear that many campuses are facing difficult times and finding it challenging to maintain and advance their community engagement in the current climate. It is our hope that by celebrating these classified campuses others might come to see community engagement as part of the strategy to address the current set of challenges in higher education.”

About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching aims to build a field around the use of improvement science and networked improvement communities to solve long-standing inequities in educational outcomes. The foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others. For more information, visit

About the Swearer Center for Public Service

In 1986, Brown University President Howard Swearer, PhD, founded one of the first public service centers in the nation, now named for him—the Swearer Center for Public Service. The Swearer Center is a hub of community, scholarship and action at Brown University. Through innovative programs and fellowships that reach across Rhode Island and around the globe, the Swearer Center connects people to co-create knowledge and positive social change, advances the field of engaged scholarship, and integrates social innovation with community engagement. In 2017, the Swearer Center became the administrative and research home of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. For more information, visit

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