Carnegie-Engaged Institute

UT Knoxville and the UT Institute of Agriculture have earned the 2015 Carnegie Community Engagement classification for collaborating with community partners to address society’s most pressing needs.

The prestigious classification recognizes colleges’ and universities’ commitments to strengthening the bond between campus and community. UT joins a group of fifty-two universities with the “very high intensity” research classification and the engaged status designation. Fewer than half of the universities in Carnegie’s “very high intensity” research classification have achieved engaged status.

To achieve the designation, campuses must document their collaborations with local, regional, state, national, and global organizations “to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching, and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.”

Underscoring UT Knoxville’s commitment to these efforts is the 2015 adoption of “Experience Learning”— which focuses on experiential learning— as its new Quality Enhancement Plan, part of its reaccreditation process for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Take a closer look at a few of UT’s ongoing community-engagement projects:

The Appalachia Community Health and Disaster Readiness Project

BridgeIn Clay County, Kentucky, faculty, staff, and students have been working alongside community partners to improve the county’s wellness and disaster readiness. The project—led by the UT Global Disaster Nursing graduate program—is also giving students the opportunity to learn through service and gain hands-on real-world experience in improving the lives of others and helping to bring about meaningful change.

Smart Communities Initiative

14041025711-1024x344The SCI is a new interdisciplinary program that partners faculty and students across campus with one city, county, special district, or other municipal group each year to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at increasing the level of economic viability, environmental sustainability, and social integrity of the region. The pilot location for the program is Cleveland, Tennessee.

UT STEM Experiences for K–12 Students

2014-PCRSP-Poster-Session-300x277The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture offer many K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) research and experiential opportunities for local students, including summer camps, 4-H programs, science olympiads, and more.

Eyes on LaFollette

BenMoser2Advanced photojournalism students have taken pictures of life in the small town of LaFollette, Tennessee, since 1993. Students spend thirty-six hours each spring capturing photo stories for publication in the city’s newspaper, LaFollette Press. In October 2014, Eyes on LaFollete debuted in their first public exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. The New York Times recently featured this project on its photography blog.

To learn more about UT’s community engagement, visit

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