Community Engagement Classification FAQ

To determine whether your campus is eligible to apply, visit the Carnegie Classification website ( and go to the tab for “Institution Look Up.” If your campus is listed, then you are eligible to apply for the Community Engagement Classification.

There are a number of campuses that have one Basic Classification and multiple branch campuses. Branch campuses that have a history of being an independent institution, have distinct local leadership, and a distinct student body and community within which and with whom they partner, can apply for the Elective Community Engagement Classification separate from the overall institution, even when the branch campus does not have a “Basic” classification, provided that the institution does have a Basic Classification. In these cases, please consult our updated policy: Eligibility for Applying for the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification (April 18, 2018).

Access to the application will be available on GivePulse starting March 1, 2022. Institutional representatives will be prompted to select an application type (first-time or re-classification) and then directed to a payment page. After the payment is complete, an email receipt will be generated and will include a unique link to the classification framework application portal. There, you will be able to complete the application and save your progress as a draft. 

Application fees will be assessed on a sliding scale following the grid on the 2024 cycle overview page. The application fee covers the cost of the classification administration and maintaining access to Carnegie classification datasets.

Applications for the 2024 cycle must be initiated by October 31, 2022.

The Classification is intended to invite wide participation and not exclude any campus from participating because of the inability to cover the application fee. Campuses may request a fee waiver prior to accessing the online application by emailing us at

Campuses that earned the classification in 2015 will need to re-classify in the 2024 or 2026 classification cycle in order to retain the classification. Such campuses can elect to apply during either cycle in order to retain the classification. Campuses with successful classification in 2020 will need to re-classify in the 2026 cycle. 

Campuses that earned the classification in 2006, 2008, or 2010 were required to re-classify in 2015 (for 2006 and 2008 classification) or 2020 (for 2010 classification). If a 2006, 2008, or 2010 classified campus did not re-classify in 2015 or 2020, they will need to submit a first-time application for the 2024 classification cycle.

A current list of classified campuses with classification year is found here

A listing of classified campuses from 2006 to present is found here

Yes. The Documentation Framework comprises a list of all questions that appear in the application. There is also an accompanying guide that includes more thorough descriptions of the purpose of certain questions and the type of information that is expected in applicants’ responses.  It is strongly recommended that institutions use this framework for collecting data and drafting responses to the application questions. Transferring responses from the framework to the online application and then submitting it should be the last steps in the application process.

This depends on the type of application your institution is submitting. Web links will NOT be accepted as valid supporting documentation in First-Time Applications (i.e., reviewers will not open links included in the application).  Instead, when relevant, First-Time Applicants should copy and paste text from websites and include that information as part of application responses, where appropriate.

Re-Classification Applicants should provide web links to relevant campus resources where requested in the application.  Reviewers may want to examine websites for additional clarification of the responses in the application. Reviewers also may ask for a telephone conversation to clarify the evidence provided.

It is strongly recommended that applicants complete the entire application in a word-processing application (e.g., Google Docs or Microsoft Word) and then cut and paste text from that file into answer fields on the online application. More specifically, institutions should use the Word version of the Documentation Framework for collecting data and drafting responses to the application questions.  Transferring responses from the framework to the online application and then submitting it should be the last steps in the application process.

Applicants can view the application sections, finish parts of the applications, save drafts and come back to it later as needed.

Yes. Applicants that have created an account on GivePulse may save drafts of the online application and then edit and/or continue at a later time. You will need to log in to retain access to the online application and save it in draft mode. As a GivePulse user, your role as a “Collaborator” on the platform will allow you to see that the application is automatically saving your work as you go. If you forget your password, you can easily reset it.

Though the process of compiling responses to the application questions will likely involve many individuals from the applicant institution, it is strongly recommended that only one person be responsible for filling out and submitting the online application itself.  The individual who creates the primary account will be listed in the “Applicant’s Contact Information” section of the application and will be the same individual who submits the application.

Yes. Most application questions require responses that do not exceed 500 words and the text boxes will not allow for more than the word limit; the questions that allot more than 500 words are noted within the question. You will find a word count calculator under each text box in the online framework.  If a response provided by an applicant exceeds the word limit, the online application software will only submit the maximum number of words allowed for that question, resulting in an incomplete response. Therefore, it is recommended that applicants draft their responses in a word-processing application (e.g., Microsoft Word, Google Docs), and use the word-count feature before cutting and pasting text into the online application. Upon pasting your answer into the online application, please make sure to read it fully to make sure that the full answer was captured.

No. Paragraph marks in a response are not treated as a word in the word count limit.

The response boxes in the application only accept non-formatted text (i.e., no font enhancements, such as bolding, italicizing, or underlining, and no tables). In addition, the response boxes have not allowed embedded hyperlinks.  The full text of URLs must be listed when referring to web addresses (where appropriate; please see the question above regarding URLs if you are unsure whether your campus should use them).

Each application is reviewed in its entirety by a single reviewer at a time (with multiple reviewers reviewing each application); thus, it is acceptable to use acronyms and/or abbreviations throughout the application after the first full reference to an entity.

It is not advisable to leave any sections blank. If you cannot respond by providing evidence, explain why the evidence does not exist and what the campus is doing to be able to provide the evidence in the future.

The application seeks evidence of community engagement in courses where there are collaborative and reciprocal partnerships. While an internship may be based on a collaborative and reciprocal partnership, for example, it may also be based on a placement with the purpose of professional preparation. When collecting data, many campuses make the distinction between experiences that are placements that enhance academics and provide professional training, and those that are partnerships that enhance academics and meet community needs. The distinctions are not absolute, but it is important to be able to clarify the differences in type of experiential education so that not everything experiential is counted as community engagement.

General inquiries regarding the application process and for immediate assistance with technical issues, or guidance related to application content, please contact

The online form through GivePulse is the ONLY allowable means by which to submit your institution’s classification application responses. To have a link to the 2024 online application re-sent to your institution, please contact

Yes. To receive a copy of a previous, successful Community Engagement Classification application, please contact To ensure the protection of your institutional data, if you are not the chief academic officer of your institution (ex: Provost, Chancellor), we will need you to upload a formal letter on an institutional letterhead signed by them.

The deadline for submitting the application for the 2024 Community Engagement Classification is May 1, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

The results of the 2024 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification application process will be announced in January 2024.  Only those institutions that receive the classification will be announced. Institutions that are not classified during this cycle are notified privately.

The next Community Engagement Classification application process will be announced in 2024 for the 2026 application cycle.

For the 2024 cycle, the community partner survey will be available in English and Spanish. Campuses will select which survey to send to the partner organization.

Campuses that wish to withdraw their participation in the 2024 process can submit a refund request on or before March 15, 2023, to receive a refund of 50% of their application fees. No refunds will be processed after March 15, 2023. To request a refund, please send an email to

  • Members of the Carnegie Elective Classification Central Office (ECCO) provide training and consultation in “multi-campus settings” like conferences, symposia, and workshops involving more than one campus. The ECCO does not provide training or consultation to individual campuses to avoid conflicts of interest during the evaluation process.
  • There are a number of consultants who are available and who operate independently of the Carnegie Foundation and the ECCO. The Carnegie Foundation requires these consultants to provide a clear and prominent disclaimer that their consulting and training are not in any way associated with the Carnegie Foundation or with the ECCO as the home of the classification.
  • For the 2024 and 2026 cycles, the Carnegie Elective Classification Central Office is developing a pool of consultants. We plan to introduce a process for individuals to be considered as part of our recommended pool. We are particularly interested in consultants who have direct experience with leading an application on their campus. Invited consultants will be asked to participate in training provided by the ECCO, and will have access to resources before being members of the recommended pool. The pool of consultants will be announced on our website in late spring or early summer 2022.

Typically, the data provided in the application should reflect the most recent academic year. Since campuses will be completing the application in academic year 2022-2023, data typically would reflect evidence from AY 2020-2021. Wherever data is requested, it is understood that COVID has likely impacted data from 2021-2022, 2020-2021, and 2019-2020. Therefore, campuses may use data from the pre-COVID academic year – AY 2018-2019 – if it is determined that it provides a better representation of your campus’s community engagement. If you do so, please note the academic year that the data represents. If some of your data from COVID years is determined to be an accurate representation of your community engagement, while some is not, then use the best data you have for the question and indicate what AY the data refers to.

Campuses that are preparing for the 2026 cycle should anticipate using data from AY2022-2023 with the caveat that we don’t know what will be happening with the world that might influence what kind of data can be utilized.

Although 2023-24 data may be available, not all campuses will have been able to assess and make sense of that data. Campuses will be welcome to use more recent data (2023-24) in the application, if they will have had the time to understand the outcomes and impacts of the data and believe it will offer a better representation of their campus. 

Additionally, while the 2024 application is a good indicator for preparing for the 2026 cycle, campuses should expect revisions to the application based what we learn from the previous application cycle, what is happening in the field, and how world/national events impact engagement on campuses.

In addition to the flexibility of data as indicated in the question above, there is a question dedicated to discussing the impacts of COVID-19 and other large-scale limitations (such as natural disasters) on your campus.


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