Community Engagement Support Project

Community College of Philadelphia
Organization Overview: 

Community College of Philadelphia is a public, open-admission institution that provides both academic resources and support services to help students achieve their academic goals. As the largest public institution of higher education in Philadelphia, the College has served more than 685,000 of the city's residents since 1965.

Community College of Philadelphia has a mission-based commitment aligned with the principles articulated by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. We strive to help students become “informed and concerned citizens,” aware and appreciative of “a diverse world,” with “active interest in intellectual questions and social issues,” and experiencing “self-fulfillment based on service to others.” If community engagement and civic leadership can be defined as addressing topics or issues of public concern, Community College of Philadelphia students working with faculty and staff have demonstrated this commitment through a variety of initiatives over the past 50 years. From providing preventative health services for the 19130 Zip Code project in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Philadelphia through its Nursing program to creating free basic estate documents for first responders through the Fox Rothschild Center for Law and Society’s Wills for Heroes Project, the College has created and continues to create immeasurable impact on the City of Philadelphia. With the opening of the new Institute for Community Engagement and Civic leadership also known as “The Institute,” which soft launched this past academic year, the College has refined its mission around community engagement and allows the Institute to serve as the backbone behind doing mission-driven work while strategically planning for and tracking the community engagement efforts that the College is already well known for doing and continues to do. 

The Institute is the College’s home for volunteerism, service-learning, scholarship and research, and community partnerships. The Institute is driven by its’ mission to foster a culture of engagement and collaboration that promotes volunteerism and experiential learning, and capitalizes on the strengths of students, faculty, staff, administrators and partners to make a positive difference on social justice issues. The vision is that the College’s institutional profile and reputation be elevated to the status of one recognized for excellence, and embraced by the community and beyond for having a positive impact on social issues at local, regional and national levels. 

The Institute coordinates connections to experiential learning and volunteer opportunities for students, faculty, staff and administrators across the College community. The work of the Institute is divided into three major focus areas: Teaching and Service-Learning, Scholarship and Research, and Outreach and Partnerships. Through its three major focus areas, the Institute engages the community around its current signature initiatives of working with youth, and diversity and inclusion. 

To prove our vision a reality the Institute is applying to successfully achieve the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification recognition. Please visit: to learn more about the classification. 

Project Name: 
Community Engagement Support Project
Project Type: 
Program Evaluation; Program Development
Project Overview: 

The Community Engagement Support Internship will focus on developing a community engagement program evaluation system at the College in line with the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification framework.

In this role, the student(s) will develop a system that will track all community engagement efforts campus-wide.

In order to begin tracking the College’s efforts, the individual must take necessary steps in planning, research, surveying, meeting with appropriate staff, faculty and administrators to gather information; document processes, achievements, projects and time contributed; partnerships; etc. as well as anecdotal stories that holistically portray the College’s community engagement efforts and influence upon our city and region within the past academic year. 

The student(s) should be resourceful in connecting with other colleges/universities that have applied for and achieved the classification as well as communicate or make connections with local advisory member(s) from the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification board for feedback and guidance. The student(s) should be proactive in seeking other resources as well such as in-person and webinar trainings that will be supportive in the development of assessments and documentation of the College’s community engagement efforts.

The intern will have produced “mini-assessments” for each relevant area at the College to respond to on an ongoing basis which the Institute will use for tracking data and assessment purposes moving forward. These mini-assessments will be designed using the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification application key areas as the foundation. The data received from the assessments will provide an in-depth picture of the College’s community engagement efforts and work and will serve as the information to support a successful application for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The mini-assessments will be used by the intern to produce a completed practice application. 


1. Develop a step-by-step plan, timeline and checklist for the College’s application completion and submission process for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

2. Create, administer, and review data from surveys, mini-assessments, interviews and other relevant documents for completion of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification Application

3. Attend Carnegie Community Engagement Classification webinars and presentations

4. Support the facilitation of meetings and interactions of a cross functional team made up of relevant College representatives to support assessment of data and completion of application

5. Create Carnegie Classification presentation outlining the benefits of earning the classification to the College, the steps needed to complete the application and successfully position the College for earning the classification, and helpful tips on data gathering and compilation

6. Develop a system to measure whether or not the College is meeting the Foundational Indicators of the classification

7. Review sample successful Carnegie Community Engagement Classification applications as guides to the College’s successful submission and identify colleges/universities from the list who may be resources for our application

8. Gather information to create College-wide community partner list – comprised of organizations with which the College does service-learning, volunteering, etc. along with the appropriate organizational contact information and describe partnership details and levels of engagement

9. Develop College-wide service tracking tool that consists of tracking the following engagement areas and estimating the total monetary value of time donated to the College as well as time donated to the community at large:

a. Service learning external organization partnerships

b. Student, faculty and employee service projects

c. Student, faculty and employee service hours

d. Student, faculty and employee service events

e. Student, faculty and employee volunteer service and hours (internal and external)

f. Faculty-engaged scholarship and research

g. Community events and programs (# of events annually, by semester)

h. Engagement with community members (# of external community members at College-sponsored events)

i. Other (as it applies to Carnegie Community Engagement Classification) 

Project Timeline: 

September - November 2017

  • Become familiar with Carnegie Classification, College, and develop project plan


  • Review and finish drafts of all mini assessments


  • Roll out assessments to appropriate stakeholders

January 2018 

  • Determine if the Carnegie's Foundational Indicators have been met successfully by the College, identify areas of deficiency, suggest plans to implement to meet Foundational Indicators
  • Attend Carnegie Classification Webinar

January - April 

  • Continue to assess all other community engagement areas at the College
  • Complete Carnegie Framework Application

April - July

  • Review application available in May 2018 to confirm approach to application
Spots Available: 
Executive; Full-Time
To Apply: 

To apply for this project, please contact Cassie Tomkins at

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829