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.

#12. Communication Plan

Updated: Apr 16, 2018

Don’t Wait: Leverage Today.

We’ve got practical steps and tools to get you started all month in the Carnegie Caravan. Is every single person on your campus already a community engagement champion? If not, you need a communications plan. You were going to talk anyway; here’s how to make it count.

Why do I need a communication plan and what if I don’t have one?

Classified institutions integrate the community throughout all of their work. That’s radically different than how most of higher ed operates. And because getting to this point challenges the status quo, plenty of people on our campuses need things spelled out for them before they jump on board. And who can blame them?

A “communications plan” is just another way of referring to how you will inform your campus about the Carnegie application process in a way that encourages cooperation, rather than fuels resistance.

With a little forethought, you can...

  • Get the campus on the same page

  • Shine a spotlight on CE partnerships, programs, practitioners

  • Build morale and recognition for people contributing to application/institutionalization process

  • Correct some common misunderstandings about CE

... it’s only for students - nope!

... it’s all fluff and kumbaya, not rigor and results - not by a long shot!

... it only benefits the people who do it - in your dreams!

  • Grease the wheels for any changes you may want to make before and after app submitted

  • Prepare the campus to leverage the classification when the application is submitted

What’s at stake if you don’t communicate?

Consequences experienced by some campuses were that member of campus...

  • Drew uninformed, inaccurate conclusions about the classification and application process

  • Made it harder to complete the application

  • Left some folks thinking that CE was competing with other institutional priorities, rather than supporting them

  • Confounded some to confuse the classification with accreditation or with a cash award

  • Frustrated some who came to see the transactional/transformational approach as wasteful and time consuming


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.