Carnegie Foundation Classifies USF a Top Research University

USF’s campuses in St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland also receive first-time classifications.

Special to News

TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2011) – The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently  released the 2010 Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education, citing USF and first-time mentions for campuses in St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland.

The Carnegie Classification system is a framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education. It is now the leading taxonomy of all accredited colleges and universities in the United States, currently developed using nationally available data from the U.S. Office of Postsecondary Education, the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the National Science Foundation, and the College Board. The 2010 update retains the same structure as the 2005 edition with few changes.

All accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities in the U.S. represented in the IPEDS system are eligible for inclusion in the Carnegie Classifications.  The 2010 Classification update welcomed an additional 483 institutions, bringing the total to 4,633 institutions classified. The Basic Classification category groups institutions based on the extent to which the various level of degrees awarded, (i.e., associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees). USF’s basic classification is RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity), which is home to institutions that award at least 20 research doctorates during the update year while maintaining an advanced and active research portfolio. 

Of the 4,633 institutions classified by Carnegie, 108 are in the RU/VH category, or 2.3% of all accredited colleges in the U.S.  Of those, 73 are public and 35 are private institutions. In Florida, USF is one of four public institutions to achieve this highest level of classification for doctoral granting institutions. Moreover, for the first time the USF System has secured separate classifications for each of its member institutions and/or campuses, an important development following the recent provision made to report separately to IPEDS. USF St. Petersburg, USF Sarasota-Manatee, and USF Polytechnic have all been classified as Master’s M (Master’s Colleges and Universities with medium programs).

In addition to the standard classification categories that identify institutions’ student profiles, size and setting, and instructional focus, Carnegie also invites institutions to participate in elective classification on Community Engagement. Unlike the all-inclusive classifications based on secondary analysis of existing national data, the elective Community Engagement classification relies on institutions submitting documentation describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community, be it local or beyond. The Community Engagement classification addresses elements of institutional mission and distinctiveness that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.

The Community Engagement classification was first launched in 2005 and was comprised of two sub-categories: Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnership. At that time, USF was granted Community Engagement: Outreach and Partnership classification. In the 2010 classification, both USF-Tampa and USF St. Petersburg were granted both classifications in the Community Engagement classification, Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnership, in recognition of achievements in community-based learning initiatives that connect faculty and staff with the community through mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration.

First published in 1973, the Carnegie Classifications have undergone multiple revisions, including changes in category names and definitions in 1976, 1987, 1994, 2000, 2005, and 2010 to reflect changes among colleges and universities. It is important to note the Carnegie Classifications are not rankings and they do not imply quality differences among categories.

-       For more information contact Lara Wade, 813-974-9060.