Community Engagement at WSUWinona State University has been selected to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a national policy and research center for higher education.

“I am astounded at the level of integration and engagement the university community enjoys with the Winona and Rochester communities,” said Patricia L. Rogers, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The community engagement classification reaffirms our commitment to our mission. We are truly a community of learners improving the world.”

According to Rogers, community engagement at Winona State is about connecting students to purpose-driven work that applies their learning from the classroom to the community they live in. WSU students have contributed more than one million volunteer hours since 2007, with more than half of WSU students involved in service to the community.

Examples of Winona State’s curricular and community engagement include:

  • The University Theme, which annually serves as a focal point for engagement efforts such as class projects, lectures, and community workshops that involve students, faculty and members of the Winona community.
  • Winona Survivors Unite in Exercise, a free customized exercise program in which cancer survivors are guided by WSU undergraduate students in the Movement Science program.
  • A partnership between Winona Park Rec and the WSU Recreation Tourism and Therapeutic Recreation Department that provides students with opportunities to engage in the Winona community as camp counselors, youth sports coaches and facility supervisors.
  • The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention Program, which helps cardiac and cancer patients in the Winona community return to health through exercise.
  • The on-site Community Training Clinic with the Hawthorne Learning Center and Hiawatha Valley Mental Health Center in Rochester, through which WSU Counselor Education students provide supervised counseling for the community and gain hands-on learning experiences.

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification was first developed in 2006, and WSU was one of the first institutions nationwide to receive the classification. The 2015 re-classification is now valid until 2025.

Winona State is one of 10 Minnesota institutions selected for the classification, and one of only five public Minnesota institutions on the list. Nationwide, 361 institutions have earned this designation. A listing of the institutions that hold the Community Engagement Classification can be found on the website for the New England Resource Center for Higher Education.

For more information call Joan Francioni at 507-457-2336 or visit WSU’s website on community engagement.

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Andrea Northam

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