Community Engagement

At Southeast Missouri State University, the community has always been a big part of us. We know we’re preparing the area’s teachers, business people and entrepreneurs, scientists, agriculture professionals, artists and performers, and community leaders. Our mission has always been to do our part to contribute to the development of our region. That’s why Southeast is pursuing the Carnegie Foundation’s 2020 Classification for Community Engagement.

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification began in 2006 and is now on a five-year application cycle with the next classification announced in 2020. Institutions may hold the classification for 10 years then apply for re-classification. Currently a total of 366 higher education institutions hold the classification out of more than 3,000 institutions nationwide.

The classification is not an award. Universities must show evidence, data, and documentation of their commitment to their communities. The documentation is reviewed to determine whether the institution qualifies for recognition as a community engaged institution.

That means showing how we collaborate and partner with our surrounding communities, sharing knowledge and resources between them and us for everyone’s benefit.

Being engaged with our community means partnering to enrich scholarship, research, and curriculum; preparing educated, engaged citizens; and addressing societal issues and contributing to the public good. This has always been the heart of what we do. And, we’ve always done so because we could, because we should.

The Carnegie Foundation is one of the most distinguished organizations in our nation’s history and being recognized by it for doing good work with our local partners would be a great honor for Southeast. Plus, the application process is a substantial amount of work, designed to help universities assess their level of engagement and make improvements where needed.

President Carlos Vargas has commissioned a task force to compile our data in preparation for the application. The task force will be reaching out to faculty, staff, students and community members in the coming year. A schedule of the major milestones is below for reference. We welcome your input and will continue to provide updates on this web page for your feedback.