BAC Earns Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation

Recognized among colleges and universities nationwide for its collaboration with other institutions of higher education and its larger community

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) is pleased to announce the College has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. The BAC is selected among colleges and universities nationwide as a campus that is improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in its communities, and revitalizing its civic and academic mission.

The Carnegie Foundation's Classification for Community Engagement recognizes the BAC for its community engagement, which the Foundation defines as collaboration between institutions of higher education and larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The honor is an elective classification, involving data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments.

Community engagement is important because it shares college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity, while also enhancing curriculum, teaching and learning and preparing educated, engaged citizens. Founded in 1889 as a club for practicing architects in the Boston area, the BAC has remained closely tied to the professional design community and the greater Boston community, as well as providing service to the community in which it is housed. These connections allow the College to uphold its founding principles of integrated design education by combining classroom learning, practice, and accessibility to diverse communities.

"The BAC is honored to be recognized with the Carnegie Foundation's 2015 Community Engagement Classification," said the BAC Acting President Julia Halevy. "The classification is a testament to the incredible work of our faculty and staff to engage with the world around them to enrich our campus and the community that surrounds our vibrant campus in the heart of Boston. The projects our students and faculty complete in Boston's neighborhoods and surrounding areas have made a significant difference in the lives of those living and working in them, and they have offered our College and its communities of support a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with creating positive change."

BAC community engagement examples cited include:

  • The Gateway Initiative, a program that provides pro bono design services by BAC students to nonprofit organizations and municipal agencies through the greater Boston area. Specific projects included collaboration with the Boston Green Academy to fabricate and install a parklet in Boston, research of the Bromley Health community to develop scenarios for landscape and urban design initiatives, study of the Lynn Public Library to provide design guidelines for modernization, and the design of a Makerspace for students of The Possible Project, a youth driven entrepreneurship center in Cambridge. 
  • The Change City Project, an initiative to facilitate design partnerships between governing agencies, community groups, and local design firms to provide substantive information on the issues of health and accessibility in design. 
  • The Green Alley Project, a demonstration of urban solutions to climate change, specifically addressing the issues of recharging waters running into the Charles River from the Back Bay area of Boston, which serves as a benchmark for the City of Boston in environmental planning.
  • Partnership with National College of Arts - Rawalpindi, Pakistan, a promotion of professional development and expansions of cultural awareness through faculty and student exchanges. The partnership focuses on conducting scholarly research, developing heritage conservation, and establishing online course delivery systems that support cultural ties with Pakistan. 

The BAC is one of 361 institutions to receive this recognition and only one of five classified as specialized focus-arts, medicine, and other health professions. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington's Center for Postsecondary Research) is used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers and others.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is committed to developing networks of ideas, individuals, and institutions to advance teaching and learning. It joins together scholars, practitioners, and designers in new ways to solve problems of educational practice. Toward this end, it works to integrate the discipline of improvement science into education with the goal of building the field's capacity to improve.