Castleton has always worked hard to serve its local community. After about a year-and-a-half of hard work gathering examples of partnerships, internships and service events, Castleton submitted a 50-page application to the Carnegie Foundation.
After months of deliberation, the Carnegie Foundation rewarded that effort with the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement award. Castleton is now among five Vermont institutions to be given this award and is the only college in the VSC to ever receive it.
To be selected, colleges must answer numerous questions about administration, budget, course work, the college’s mission, culture, leadership and resources. Castleton had a large group of faculty, students and community members work together to demonstrate evidence of their hard work.
“This distinction really sets us apart from the other schools in the VSC. We are very proud,” said Ingrid Johnston-Robledo, dean of Arts, Sciences, and Community Engagement.
Castleton has many groups on campus that engage with our community through activities that occurred in conjunction with classes, student life, individual faculty and staff activities, cultural affairs, or athletics.
In order to be considered, Castleton had to be able to show how their work has an impact on the community and needed to prove that it was sustained.
“You can go out and say you’re doing good things, but if you’re not having an impact you’re not really doing much,” said Chrispin White, director of the Center for the Support and Study of the Community.
White played a huge roll in the application process, Johnston-Robledo said.
“To be recognized, we had to measure the impact we have made, and we got very good responses,” he said.
“It was a really huge process,” said Johnston-Robledo. “But it’s a huge honor.”
Castleton, she said, works hard to engage with the community. It even offers students a Civic Engagement Certificate program that students can earn by taking designated classes and doing volunteer work.
Johnston-Robledo really hopes to grow the Civic Engagement Certificate program and encourages any interested students to look into the program.
Mariah O’Hara is the vice president of Community Relations for the Student Government Association at Castleton and president of the Community Relations Club.
“Civic engagement is important for students,” O’Hara said. “We are always looking for people to join us. Community members really want to see engaged students that are willing to be a part of the Castleton Community as a whole, not just the college.”
ormation about the Carnegie Foundation and Community Engagement Classification visit nerche.org.
Community Relations Club meets every Monday from 2-3 in the SGA office.