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Lawrence Tech's outreach efforts earn Carnegie recognition

Release Date: February 18, 2009

Southfield, Mich. - Lawrence Technological University has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for its expanding community engagement and outreach efforts.

The community engagement classification is a recent addition to the Carnegie classification system for U.S. colleges and universities. Universities apply by submitting required documentation describing the nature and extent of their engagement with the community. This approach enables Carnegie to address elements of institutional mission that are not represented in the national data on colleges and universities.

Lawrence Tech is one of nine universities in Michigan - and only 119 nationwide - to receive the Carnegie designation in 2008 for both curricular engagement and outreach and partnerships. It is the only technological university in Michigan to earn that distinction.

"We have made community service an essential element in our leadership curriculum," said Lawrence Tech President Lewis N. Walker. "Our students and faculty are helping to revitalize Michigan's social fabric by working with a variety of community groups, and we believe these efforts enhance the educational experience at Lawrence Tech."

Beginning with the class of 2011 - the entering class in 2007 - comprehensive leadership experiences strengthen each undergraduate program during all four years of college. Students practice what they have learned about leadership in the classroom by volunteering and leading projects for community and civic organizations.

With the exception of the three military academies, no other American college offered such a comprehensive approach to leadership education for all students when Lawrence Tech launched its leadership curriculum in 2007.

In its successful application, Lawrence Tech also cited 15 outreach programs and partnerships, including:

  • University High School, where Lawrence Tech faculty developed college preparatory courses with an emphasis on technology and provide ongoing support to the Ferndale Public Schools. The first senior class had a 100 percent graduation rate in 2008.


  • Kids' Farm, which was established with support from the American Architectural Foundation to teach agricultural skills to inner-city children.


  •  The university's entrepreneurial summer camp for middle school and high school students, which was developed with support from the Legacy Foundation and the Kern Family Foundation.


  • Math Counts, a middle school math competition developed in partnership with the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers.

"The community engagement classification is an exciting move in Carnegie's work to extend and refine the classification of colleges and universities," said Alexander McCormick, who directs Carnegie's classification work. "It represents a significant affirmation of the importance of community engagement in the agenda of higher education."

Lawrence Technological University,, offers over 80 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,000-student, private university pioneered evening classes 75 years ago, and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech's 102-acre campus is in Southfield, with education centers in Lansing, Livonia, Clinton Township, Traverse City and Petoskey. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.