In recognition of La Salle University’s successful partnership with the local and global communities, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected La Salle for its 2014 Community Engagement Classification.
La Salle was selected because of its ability to demonstrate a mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement. La Salle is one of only 240 schools nationwide earning this distinction. The University was also recognized for its community engagement in 2010.
“Community engagement is a big part of what we are as an institution, and how we define ourselves as Lasallians,” said Brother Robert Kinzler, F.S.C., Director of La Salle’s Office of University Ministry and Service. “We’re humbled and gratified to receive such recognition from the Carnegie Foundation, which is because of the efforts of many students, faculty, staff, and community partners in living the mission of the University.”
Some examples of La Salle’s community engagement—locally and beyond—are:
- La Salle’s Communication Sciences and Disorders students and faculty provide hearing assessments and screenings for local preschool-aged children in partnership with Head Start. The clinics are located on La Salle’s campus, serving the local community at little or no cost.
- Through AIDS Outreach, volunteers visit and build relationships with individuals living with HIV at two city hospice centers. They engage in therapeutic social activities and sponsor on-campus educational programs.
- Neighborhood Tutoring is a free, one-on-one tutoring and mentoring program that serves children in grades K–8 from Philadelphia schools. Each child comes to La Salle’s campus twice a week and spends time with his or her assigned La Salle tutor, doing homework and playing educational games.
- Project Teamwork, under La Salle’s Athletics Department, works with numerous community organizations, such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Logan Elementary School, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Student-athletes and coaches serve as mentors and role models to youth, providing academic, social, and emotional support.
- For more than a decade, La Salle students have traveled to Harlan, Ky., during their Spring Break as part of Project Appalachia. The service trip exposes students to the culture and the underlying causes of the region’s economic hardships.
- La Salle’s Neighborhood Nursing Center provides access to public health, educational, and community services to underserved populations in the region. Emphasis is placed on health promotion, injury prevention, screenings, detections, and referrals.
- There are service-learning courses across several departments actively engaged with the community. One example is the University’s Writers Matter program, in which La Salle students serve as tutors and mentors for inner-city middle school students, encouraging them to express themselves through writing while learning critical writing skills.
- The Neighbor-to-Neighbor organization provides much-needed support to the elderly and disabled residents in La Salle’s immediate neighborhood. Students build relationships with their neighbors by doing yard work, painting, planting flowers, and completing other household chores. The program received an award from the American College Personnel Association’s Commission for Social Justice for Outstanding Social Justice Collaboration.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center that supports needed transformations in American education through tighter connections between teaching practice, evidence of student learning, the communication and use of this evidence, and structured opportunities to build knowledge. The Foundation is located in Stanford, Calif.
An educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values, La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order. Money magazine named La Salle University a “Value All-Star,” ranking it the eighth-best college nationwide for adding the most value for a college education. Globally, the Lasallian educational network includes 1,000 schools (60 of which are institutions of higher education) serving 940,000 students in 80 countries.