Among various types of schools, faith-based (97%) and minority-serving (92%) institutions reported above average rates for missions that purposely drive the work of engagement. They also have strategic plans with a focus on  civic engagement, and service-learning at 93% and 95%. These findings reflect the historic link between leadership and community development, which has resulted in a pervasive culture of engagement.


Among outcomes addressed in student learning plans, civic engagement was cited by 83% of responding campuses, second only to critical thinking (88%).

The most commonly included learning outcomes that are related to civic knowledge and skills are service to the community, education for global citizenship, civic engagement, leadership development, and service learning, all noted by more than half of the respondents.

Carnegie Community Engagement Classification recognizes community engagement, demonstrated through curricular and partnership activities. 

Improved Academic Achievement
• The National Research Council’s summary of research on high school engagement found that active participation by students is important for effective learning, and they identify service-learning as one of the most effective strategies for improving student engagement and, thereby, academic learning
• A California comparison study found that high school students who participated in service-learning programs scored higher on all of the study’s academic measures than did those high school students who did not participate in service-learning.
• Three separate studies–in Philadelphia, Denver, and Hawaii–found that service learning students developed better problem-solving skills and understanding of cognitive complexities.

• A large-scale Michigan study found service-learning to be positively correlated with test scores for 5th grade students.

• Several studies showed that students who engaged in service-learning had higher attendance rates than control group peers