East Carolina University and seven other UNC system schools have been recognized nationally for community outreach and engagement achievements.

ECU is one of only 195 institutions in the country to be recognized for community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Community engagement is a collaboration between a university and its communities in mutually beneficial partnerships that respond to community needs by sharing skills, knowledge and resources.

The foundation, which makes assessments of colleges and universities, has announced that 119 campuses received the engaged distinction for 2008, joining 76 that were identified in 2006.

The other University of North Carolina campuses include Appalachian State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Pembroke and Western Carolina University. Those campuses join North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill that received the designation in 2006.

With the announcement, the proportion of North Carolina's public universities deemed by the Carnegie Foundation to be “community engaged” far exceeds that of peer state systems across the country including California, Texas and Wisconsin, according to the UNC system administration.

“Receiving this classification confirms what we at ECU already know — that the commitment and practice of engagement are woven throughout our teaching, research, service and outreach enterprises,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “This is our history and a core strength as we pursue our mission to serve as a national model for public service and regional transformation.”

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