UNC Wilmington students continue making an impact as community volunteers, and the Carnegie Foundation continues to be impressed.
The foundation's Advancement for Teaching announced that the University of North Carolina Wilmington has earned its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.
It saluted UNCW for encouraging students to begin a "lifelong journey of engaged inquiry and societal contribution, while fostering ethical and intellectual development," specifically through interaction with nonprofits.
"We require all students to have at least one experiential learning experience before graduating, which encourages them to develop civic responsibility along with their educational journey," says Jenni Harris, UNCW assistant to the chancellor for community partnerships. "That can be accomplished with an internship, a service learning course, volunteer participation with reflection, study abroad, research and analysis for classwork, or independent study."
UNCW students recorded over 140,000 hours of community engagement last year. Those efforts included Work on Wilmington, Red Cross blood drives, Miracle Field coaching, elementary school mentoring, middle school arts and general teaching and mentoring.
UNCW was recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its continuing engagement with communities throughout Southeastern North Carolina – "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."
UNCW received its first Carnegie award for community engagement in 2008 and is one of 157 institutions nationwide that was reclassified this year for higher commendation.
By Phil Fuhrer