Campus & Community

University community wins two major awards for community service

The University of Denver has been recognized twice in the past month for its dedication to community service. DU is one of 63 private universities nationwide selected in 2015 for the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation, and the University also was named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for community engagement and service to promote positive change.

“These honors speak to a remarkable community here at DU that truly exemplifies our mission as a private university dedicated to the public good — a mission that is well supported by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and thousands of people here at DU,” says Chancellor Rebecca Chopp.

The Carnegie Foundation classification recognizes schools that demonstrate a distinctive institutional focus on community engagement locally and globally. To be considered for the classification, the University’s Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) worked with stakeholders to complete a rigorous application process outlining institutional practices for community engagement that align with the mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices of the University’s academic community.

“Community engagement in teaching, research and campus life offers incredible opportunities,” says CCESL Director Anne DePrince. “DU students apply their academic learning within communities, developing skills that prepare them for their careers. Our faculty also addresses research questions with enormous public importance, oftentimes with student collaborators, preparing them to become the academic and civic leaders of tomorrow.”

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Launched in 2006, the honor roll recognizes institutions that embody the values of exemplary community service and civic engagement and that raise the visibility of best practices in campus-community partnerships.

The University of Denver was selected for the honor roll on the basis of several factors, including the degree to which service is embedded in the academic and co-curricular culture, the University’s dedication to service and the scope and community impact of service work. CCESL plays an integral role in bringing the University’s public good mission to fruition through a range of programs dedicated to enhancing student learning and service, faculty teaching and research, and overall community development.


Following are highlights from the University of Denver’s commitment to the public good in the previous academic year:


  • 4,995 students contributed more than 477,000 hours to service.
  • The Faculty Service Learning and Service Learning Associates programs supported faculty from colleges and departments across campus who taught more than 90 service-learning courses that enrolled more than 1,100 students.
  • The Public Good Fund made more than $100,000 available for 11 innovative, community-engaged faculty research projects that address community-identified needs. Projects ranged from addressing health-access barriers for Latino families and documenting family-school partnering strategies with refugee parents to the creation of a public, web-based geographic information system that supports communal decision making along Nicaragua’s Pacific coast.
  • The AmeriCorps Compact Service Corps program placed DU students in high-need K–12 environments and nonprofit agencies for long-term service placements that last from one to two years. More than 250 DU students contributed more than 129,000 hours of service with 96 community partners.
  • University students, faculty and staff engaged with metro-area public schools through tutoring and mentoring programs, teacher-prep field placements, service-learning courses, public good research projects and the Public Achievement Program. In 2012–13, 27 students served as Public Achievement Coaches and carried out 7,530 hours with 148 high school students to create, develop and implement their own civic project within their community or school.




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