carnegie hacks

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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.

#6. Prioritizing Response Details

This week’s tip comes from a question posed by Carnegie Caravan member, Julia Devine, who asks:


“Knowing that there will be space limitations, I'm wondering how to best decide what to highlight in each section."

Making the most of your word count is all about thinking strategically and planning ahead.

Suggestion 1: Prioritize


You’ll want to demonstrate both the depth and the breadth of the institution’s commitment to high quality CE. Every response you provide has the chance to 1) answer the question and 2) provide more evidence for that depth and breadth.

Suggestion 2: Variate

I recommend that campuses use a different example from this inventory for every response they provide. Most campuses conduct an inventory of their CE programs and activities early in the process. A simple spreadsheet listing your strongest examples can help you keep track of which examples you intend to provide for which item responses.

As you work through the application, you’ll gain clarity about which of these programs and activities represent the type of CE that will best speak to the Carnegie Classification and will most appeal to the reviewers.

Suggestion 3: Abbreviate

Some of the best faculty CE scholarship doesn’t have a name. Discussing projects that don’t have specific names can waste lots of space. Devising a “short hand” can help you conserve. For instance, after introducing, “Dr. Turner’s community-engaged scholarship on the prevention of Chagas disease in Latin America,” you can save lots of room by referring to it as “Chagas Prevention” or “Turner’s scholarship” from that point on.

In addition, while your campus may not use an acronym to refer to a project with a long title, you certainly can in your responses. For instance, including an acronym when introducing the “University Community Action Program (UCAP)” will allow you to save three words every time the program is referenced. This tip becomes even more useful referring to programs with seven or eight words in the title, which are more common than I ever realized.

What tricks do you expect will come in handy to get the most “bang” for your space?

Thanks for the great question, Julia!

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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.