UNLV and the University of Nevada, Reno, have both been recognized for their community engagement work for the first time.
The two public universities are among 119 institutions across the country to earn the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement, which evaluates schools on how well they collaborate with outside entities to address societal issues and enhance teaching and learning.
“This recognition highlights our universities’ commitment to creating and building upon reciprocal connections with partners locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Thom Reilly, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education. “Making connections with our communities is a priority for the state’s higher education institutions so that we can better meet the needs of Nevada.”
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching also recently awarded both universities a distinction for “very high research activity,” or R1 status.
A joint statement from the universities highlighted some of the schools’ community service, including more than 1,000 community partnership projects at UNLV. In one example, the college collaborated with Reinvent Schools Las Vegas “to develop systemic solutions to better support the academic and well-being outcomes of children living in poverty.”
At UNR, faculty, staff and students recorded more than 45,000 verified hours of community outreach, according to the statement, including through health care programs for UNR’s marginalized populations.
Sue DiBella, UNLV’s executive director of community engagement, said the designation was an external validation of one of the university’s primary strategic goals.
“It’s the gold standard for acknowledging the community work, a national gold standard,” DiBella said. “It speaks to the larger story about our university.”