The Carnegie Foundation selected Azusa Pacific University as 1 of 119 institutions to receive its 2020 Community Engagement Classification. This prestigious distinction recognizes universities with a high level of commitment to community service and service-learning. APU first received this distinction in 2010. APU students complete more than 165,000 hours of service in the U.S. and abroad each year.
“As a premier Christ-centered university, APU continues to equip our students to dynamically serve and engage communities,” said Azusa Pacific University President Paul W. Ferguson, Ph.D., DABT. “This honor recognizes our students’ significant impact locally and globally while affirming our commitment to loving God and loving our neighbor.”
Supporting this classification, U.S. News & World Report ranked Azusa Pacific No. 23 in service-learning among universities nationwide. Each year, approximately 65 percent of APU students participate in more than 180 service-learning courses across 24 undergraduate departments through the Center for Academic Service Learning.
“The partnership between APU and our school district has netted amazing results in the areas of community engagement, authentic learning, service-learning, and leadership opportunities,” said Superintendent of Azusa Unified School District Linda Kaminski, Ed.D. “We are deeply appreciative of the proactive approach that APU takes in engaging our school community.”
APU participates in a wide variety of community initiatives and partnerships, including four local tutoring programs, Azusa Reads, Azusa Writes, Azusa Calculates, and Azusa Counts that offer reading, writing, and math assistance to local students each semester at the Azusa City Library. In addition, C.H.A.M.P. offers a nine-week program introducing the idea of college to hundreds of fourth graders in the local community.
Through APU’s Center for Student Action, students are mobilized toward responsible and transformational service. Past service opportunities include providing support for Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic and caring for orphaned and homeless children in Peru. Through the Center for Global Engagement last year 555 students served and studied through 49 programs in 35 countries on 6 continents.
Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification, first offered in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Unlike the Foundation’s other classifications that rely on national data, this is an “elective” classification—institutions chose to participate by submitting required documentation describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community. The documentation is reviewed by a National Review Panel to determine whether the institution qualifies for recognition as a community engaged institution.
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