2020 Classification Application Information


  • The 2020 Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Classification fee will be $750.00.
  • 2020 Framework was released on Jan. 22, 2018 (below).
  • Applications web portal was launched on May 1, 2018. You can access the online portal here.
  • The application deadline is April 15, 2019.
  • Campuses will be notified in December 2019.
  • Public announcement of the classified campuses will be made in January 2020.

First-Time Applicants

For the 2020 classification, campuses that have not previously received the classification will need to submit an application using what is referred to as the “first-time documentation framework.” A PDF version of the 2020 Documentation Framework, to be used for planning purposes only, is available here. Included in this version are call-out boxes that provide guidance to assist institutions in the documentation planning process. To complete the online payment, you can access the online application portal here. If you have already completed your online payment for the classification, you can log in to our online platform and access your application here.


Re-Classifying Campuses

For the 2020 classification, institutions that received the classification in 2010 and are seeking to retain the classification will be able to re-apply through a reclassification process. A PDF version of the 2020 application for reclassification, to be used for planning purposes only, is available here. To complete the online payment, you can access the online portal here. If you have already completed your online payment for the classification, you can log in to our online platform and access your application here.

Early Re-Classification

Campuses that have the Elective Community Engagement classification and are not due for re-classification in the current cycle have inquired about the possibility of re-classifying early. Their rationale is related to leadership and or staffing turnover, solidifying the campus’ commitment to community engagement in a time of transition and the strategic importance of focusing attention on advancing community engagement in a context of strategic planning and/or re-accreditation.

For campuses that were classified or re-classified in the 2015 cycle, they can re-classify in the 2020 cycle by going through the standard process and following the established timeline. Successful classification in 2020 will mean that the next reclassification will be in the 2030 cycle.

If a campus has questions about early re-classification, campus representatives can contact John Saltmarsh at [email protected].

Online Application & Payment

In order to gain access to the application, institutional representatives should visit the application payment page via GivePulse, where they will be prompted to select an application type (first-time or re-classification). After the payment is complete, an email receipt will be generated and will include a unique link to the classification framework application portal. There, you will be able to complete the application and save your progress as a draft. For the 2020 application cycle, application fees ($750 + 4.1% credit card processing fee = $780.54) must be paid in order to access the online-application starting May 1, 2018. These fees cover the cost of administration and maintaining access to Carnegie classification datasets. The Classification is intended to invite wide participation and not exclude any campus from participating because of inability to cover the application fee. Campuses may request fee waiver request prior to accessing the online application by emailing John Saltmarsh ([email protected]).

Changes to the 2020 Documentation Framework

In each five-year classification cycle, changes are made to the documentation framework. These revisions are incorporated into the existing framework and reflect changes in the community engagement field and/or gaps identified in the framework. Each cycle the revision process is refined, becomes more formal and includes an increasingly diverse set of contributing mechanisms. You can find more information about the 2020 framework revision process and the plan for 2025 revisions linked here.


The Swearer Center created a list of frequently asked questions for campuses to review in regards to the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification application process.