Millersville University has been selected to receive the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Millersville is one of only 243 institutions in the country that now hold the elective classification.
“Within our EPPIIC values we seek to foster professionalism—preparing students for lives of service and success in the global community; and to promote our public mission—to respond to the urgent and emerging needs of our regional and global communities,” said Dr. Daniel Wubah, president of Millersville University. “This Carnegie reclassification confirms that our campus remains focused on engaging with community partners to address a wide array of community challenges.”
“The reclassification also highlights our focus on students,” says Wubah. “Community engagement, whether it is curricular or co-curricular, engages students in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration with the community. Working with faculty on community-based research, service-learning and volunteerism deepens students’ academic preparation and learning.”
Millersville earned its initial classification in 2010 and needed to participate in the re-classification process in the 2020 cycle. In order to retain the classification, the application requested that the University provide evidence of how Millersville’s community engagement became deeper, more pervasive, better integrated and sustained since the initial classification in 2010. Millersville began working on their application in the fall of 2018. The new classification is valid until 2026.
“There are three great examples of how Millersville meets the requirements of our reclassification,” said Melissa Wardwell, “The University’s involvement as a community partner in the Southwest (SoWe) Lancaster Neighborhood Revitalization initiative, as well as collaborations with the School District of Lancaster (SDoL) and with the United Way of Lancaster’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, show our engagement.”
The University’s involvement with SoWe leverages faculty, staff and student resources within a collaborative framework to build community partner capacity and foster economic development.
In just one of several collaborations with SDoL, the University successfully implemented two consecutive three-year AmeriCorps VISTA projects designed to build the capacity of the partnering schools and community organizations to provide academic enrichment to K-5 students (2013-16) and career exploration and planning services to 9-12 grade students (2015-19). Over the course of six years, nearly 400 MU students provided over 8,000 hours of after school enrichment, mentoring and career readiness programming to over 2,000 SDoL students.
Over the past nine years, the University’s collaboration with the United Way’s VITA Program, has engaged Millersville student interns and volunteers to serve as volunteer tax preparers and VITA site coordinators assisting low income Lancaster County residents at an on-campus VITA site and other VITA locations across Lancaster County.
Drs. Lisa Shibley, assistant vice president of institutional assessment and planning, and James Delle, associate provost oversaw work on the application. Also assisting on the application were Melissa Wardwell, Tom Richardson, Lori Leaman and Drs. Lawrence Adams, Mary Glazier, Duane Hagelgans, Hope Schmids and Karen Rice.