Carnegie Foundation - Elective Classifications

GivePulse is the official partner of the Carnegie Elective Classifications and the The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. GivePulse provides the official platform for classification applications and for the national review process. Elective Classifications currently include the Community Engagement Classification, and the following classifications which are in development and scheduled to be launched over the next few years: the Leadership for Public Purpose Classification, Local Economic Development Classification, Access & Equity Classification, Sustainability Classification, Indigenous Education Classification, and more.

Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Community Engagement is an elective classification higher education institutions may voluntarily apply for after completing a detailed self-study. The elective classification involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments. As an institutional classification, it requires substantial effort invested by participating institutions.

  • Community Engagement
    Community engagement describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
  • Purpose
    The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.
  • When
    The Community Engagement Classification takes place on a two-year cycle. The next opportunity for institutions to apply for classification will be during the 2024 cycle (which will open in 2022).


The Carnegie Foundation's Classification is now partnering with The Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University to develop a new classification in Leadership.

  • Leadership
    Leadership can be studied as behavioral skills (such as competencies), cognitive beliefs (such as leader identity), and emotional abilities (such as emotional intelligence). It can be studied as a socio-cultural and political process.  Scholars also examine organizational impacts of leadership, such as the impact of leader teams on the functioning of their broader organization.  Other scholars examine the historical impact of leadership, for example on the performance of states or nations under the influence of an elected leader, a monarch, an autocrat, or a governing organization. Finally, some scholars examine the contextual dynamics that shape and produce effective leadership. Leadership as a pedagogical category can include leader development (the development of leaders) - and leadership (building understanding of how leaders become leaders, in what circumstance, to what end and/or the understanding of how leaders lead) - and leader/ship competencies (acquisition of leadership skills, practices, and tools).

    Across the spectrum, however, leadership is understood as a process of one or more people animating other people to act in a certain way or believe a certain thing. Leadership can be accomplished through a process of influence, support, incentive, coercion or other means. Leadership may cause others to be inspired, motivated, focused on a vision or individual goals, or it may cause them to accept a new purpose or direction. Leadership can be demonstrated by individuals in formal and informal leadership roles. It can also be demonstrated by a group or team. Leadership can influence people toward socially-constructive and socially-destructive aims; and can recreate unjust social structures and processes or seek to change them. Leadership, as discussed in this framework, requires a moral obligation to others, emotional intelligence for empathy, and awareness of the social, cultural, political contexts within which leadership takes place.
  • Purpose
    To capture the breadth of scholarly and pedagogical diversity, the framework uses “leader/ship” to represent the activities that span this spectrum. This framework focuses on leader/ship for public purpose as a desired institutional outcome of colleges and universities. It reflects institutional missions that claim to positively impact society. Effective leader/ship for public purpose transcends functional or instrumental leader/ship (i.e. personal career or political gain;  or narrow business or organization outcomes), in pursuit of collective public goods like justice, equity, diversity, and liberty. Leader/ship for public purpose can be manifest in all realms of social life - private business, public and nonprofit institutions, neighborhood and community life, professional associations, civil and government institutions, religious institutions, etc. Leader/ship, at an institutional level sufficient for classification, requires commitment to leader/ship development; development of ethical and moral judgement; and development of the critical thinking necessary to understand systemic and cultural aspects of power and privilege within which all leader/ship resides.
  • When

Economic Development

The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Economic Development details will be released soon. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact us at Carnegie Team

  • Coming soon..

Access & Equity

The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Access & Equity details will be released soon. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact us at Carnegie Team

  • Coming soon..


The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Sustainability details will be released soon. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact us at Carnegie Team

  • Coming soon..

Indigenous Education

The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Indigenous Education details will be released soon. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact us at Carnegie Team

  • Coming soon..