The events for this year’s Mission Week promote a lifelong commitment to critical thinking, making ethical decisions and pursuing social justice.
Saint Joseph’s is being recognized for its efforts to actively engage with communities large and small through teaching, research, partnerships and service.
The University has earned the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching . After receiving the designation for the first time in 2010, SJU is among 119 institutions to receive this classifcation this year, joining 240 others who did so in 2015.
The classification is the leading framework for institutionalization of community engagement in U.S. higher education. In affirming the University’s classification once again, the foundation noted "excellent alignment among campus mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement."
“From the classroom to research and co-curricular activities, our students, faculty and staff partner with communities around the corner and across the globe to form lasting, mutually beneficial relationships,” says Cheryl A. McConnell , Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “These partnerships strengthen our core values, address critical societal issues and contribute to the public good.”
Since earning the classification a decade ago, the University has made progress in developing policies, practices and outreach which foster reciprocal community engagement efforts. Among the highlights of these efforts are:
Beginning in Fall 2018, a steering committee led by Ann Marie Jursca Keffer, MSW, director of the Faith-Justice Institute, engaged in a transformative approach to the reclassification process by meeting regularly to enhance and collect community engagement practices and policies. The committee also consisted of:
“Community engagement is a crucial aspect of our Jesuit mission to be men and women with and for others,” McConnell said. “I am profoundly grateful to the committee for their work in collecting, classifying and bringing to life the many ways in which our efforts enrich our communities and strengthen our understanding of the world around us.”