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Monday, August 15, 2022

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UH boosts community engagement efforts for Carnegie classification


UH is focusing more on its community-based initiatives and ongoing projects that serve society in an effort to renew its classification as a Carnegie Community Engagement Institution, which the University has had since 2008.

“What Carnegie wants to know is not the amount of projects UH has completed but the depth of our relationship to the local community,” said Graduate College of Social Work research professor Larry Hill. “What sets us apart is that we’re the only Carnegie-designated and Tier One research university in Texas.”

This classification as a Carnegie Community Engagement Institution means UH is actively engaged in “the partnership of college knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity (and to) enhance curriculum, teaching and learning,” according to the Carnegie application.

Optometry Dean Gavin Gerondale is the founding director of the Mobile Eye Institute, which is one of the many community-based initiatives that started on the UH campus.

“Our mission is to bring eye health care to people that do not fit the traditional health care model,” Gerondale said.

The Mobile Eye Institute partners with Houston’s health department and Harris County to provide optometry care to low-income residents of the city who would not be able to afford these services otherwise.

The College of Optometry also partners with local schools to bus in 500 children a semester to UH for eye care, which helps optometry students get the experience they need in their field.

UH also strives to provide multiple community-service-oriented courses in all fields of study that have a positive impact on the relationship between the University and the community. One such program is the Cullen College of Engineering’s Research Experience for Teachers, which is designed to provide high school teachers “with the opportunity to conduct a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor and develop teaching modules related to engineering to take back to their classrooms,” according to the program’s website. 
The University will find out whether the Carnegie Community Engagement Institution designation has been renewed in mid-April.

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