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John Carroll is nationally recognized as one of 119 U.S. colleges and universities that received the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The Carnegie Community Engagement classification is an elective designation that indicates an institutional commitment to community engagement.

John Carroll is one of 13 institutions in Ohio to hold the honor, and one of only 8 percent of institutions nationally to attain this classification.  There are just 359 total institutions in the U.S. who currently hold the 2015 and 2020 classification.

JCU first received classification in 2010 and this re-classification affirms the ongoing institutional commitment and exceptional work being done by faculty, staff, and students. Community engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

"We are thrilled to be recognized for our commitment to community engagement,” said Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D., president of John Carroll University. “Our work with a wide range of community partners continues to deepen in terms of its intentionality and its impact. The benefits of engagement are shared by faculty, students, staff, and community partners alike. The mission of John Carroll drives our engagement and our students live the mission in extraordinary ways.”

"John Carroll University is committed to community engagement by supporting faculty, by empowering students to be civically engaged, and by strengthening community-university partnerships that build capacity, generate knowledge and leverage the teaching, research and service of JCU for a greater good,” said Sr. Katherine Feely, SND, director of John Carroll University’s Center for Service and Social Action.

This classification was awarded following an 18-month process, which included self-study followed by assessment by a national review committee led by the Swearer Center for Public Engagement at Brown University, the administrative and research home for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. 

The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

“These newly-classified and re-classified 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, executive director of the Swearer Center. 


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


In 1986, Brown University President Howard Swearer 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


John Carroll University is located in University Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Its mission inspires individuals to excel in learning, leadership, and service in the region and around the world. One of 27 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, John Carroll University is recognized nationally for an exceptional four-year graduation rate, teaching excellence, and a commitment to living a faith that does justice.