carnegie hacks

Decreasing your Carnegie learning curve
so you can focus on what really matters


Carnegie Hacks are insights and tools to save you time and energy you can use to

advancing CE on your campus, instead. We post them every week, right here.

#55. How to Make Your Application Stand Out

Want to make your application stand out?

It's as simple as answering this one question:

What should your reviewer take away from reading your application?

Ideally, what knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, convictions will your reviewers walk away with after reading your application?

Of course you want them to have the attitude that your campus's institutionalization of community engagement merits receiving the classification. But they'll read plenty of applications. What should they walk away noticing about yours?

For instance, you may want your reviewers to:

  • Consider your campus to be distinctive from peer campuses because of how you approach a few community engagement opportunities exceptionally well

  • Believe with confidence that you will follow through on the intended growth areas you outlined to enhance CE institutionalization even further in the future

Once you've named your intended learning outcomes for your reviewer, you can work backwards from those outcomes. Ask yourself what aspects of your application will contribute to them arriving at those learning outcomes? What details do they need to hear in order to learn the knowledge or attitudes? What will it take to create those outcomes for the reviewers?

Having trouble telling how much detail to provide? Come back to your learning outcomes. Ask yourself which examples or details will bring the reviewer closer to your intended learning outcome. This is especially helpful for questions that ask just for lists or examples, like examples of faculty scholarship. No context will tell them you completed the answer; with context will tell them why your answers matter.

P.S. Still wondering what the photo has to do with this week's hack? The answer is: Nothing!

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Heather Mack Consulting, LLC

Getting Carnegie Classified™️ and Heather Mack Consulting, LLC operate independently from and are not affiliated with the Brown University Swearer Center for Public Service or the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.