Preparing for the 2026 Carnegie Classification

We help higher education use
data to
understand engagement deepen partnerships improve practice advance scholarship transform institutions

Learn how Collaboratory can inform institutions, connect and convene practitioners, and provide quick access to the data needed to help prepare applications for the Carnegie Foundation’s 2026 Elective Classification for Community Engagement.

Monthly Webinar Series

In partnership with the Carnegie Elective Classifications team at the American Council on Education (ACE), Collaboratory will again facilitate a monthly webinar series that will address each section of the 2026 application. We will dive deeply into each question, examining the ways institutions are leveraging their data, spotlighting on-the-ground use cases, and exploring how to discover other data sources across campus. 

Community of Practice

In partnership with the Carnegie Elective Classifications team at the American Council on Education (ACE), Collaboratory co-hosts and facilitates a national community of practice focused on leveraging the Elective Classification framework as an opportunity to recruit allies and generate buy-in for community engagement on your campus, and to build a comprehensive portrait of your engagement. This peer-to-peer sharing platform is for anyone who wishes to join, and will facilitate connections and conversations among institutions. We believe that fostering a national dialogue among practitioners can help strengthen the self-study process and provide support and mentorship across all contexts and resource levels.

This will be especially helpful for institutions that are currently using Collaboratory, but the community of practice is free and open to anyone from any institution as they consider how to leverage the framework for institutional change.

Data Collection via Collaboratory

Carnegie is purposefully a self-study process – and requires a thoughtful audit of your institution’s goals and the work being conducted across campus and beyond. Built as a systematic campus-wide tracking mechanism, we frame Collaboratory as an intervention. The act of supporting data collection on community engagement is not just a means to an end (reporting / public relations) but is – at its core – an act of institutional change

Data collection is just the first step of such change – to be successful, it requires that institutions demonstrate the value of their data, synthesizing insights and closing the feedback loop to ensure those that provided data understand how it was used, with whom it was shared, and to what end. Whether your institution is applying for the first time or preparing for a re-classification, our team’s unique background and experiences in higher education community engagement makes us uniquely positioned to help your campus demonstrate alignment, integration, and improvement across all aspects of community-university partnerships.   

Download our Alignment Framework to see how Collaboratory can directly help your institution prepare for the Carnegie Classification today!

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