National Recognition

National Recognition

Seattle U has long been recognized for academic excellence. The Youth Initiative has put us on the map in another way, garnering high honors and interest nationwide as a model of university-led community engagement. Through the high awareness of the Youth Initiative, we’re able to share what we’ve learned on a bigger stage, serving as a model for universities seeking new ways to engage with their communities.

  • Seattle University has been recognized as one of the top 25 universities for service learning by U.S. News and World Report for the past 10 years.
  • The Carnegie Foundation selected Seattle U for its Community Engagement Classification, indicating an institutional commitment to community engagement.
  • In 2020, Seattle University was awarded the Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation, one of only four Impact Awards among a national network of 1,000 Campus Compact member institutions. 
  • CCE Executive Director Kent Koth and Erica Yamamura (faculty in College of Education) co-authored a book (Stylus 2018) that profiles Seattle U and four other universities pursuing place-based engagement. Koth and Yamamura have given keynotes at numerous regional and national conferences.
  • In 2017, the Center for Community Engagement launched the Place-Based Justice Network: Faith-Based Institutions of Higher Education Engaged in their Own Communities
  • The Center for Community Engagement created the Place-Based Justice Network, uniting 36 member institutions (and growing) in pursuing place-based strategies like the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI). 
  • In 2012, the White House honored Seattle U with the Presidential Award for Community Service, the highest recognition by the federal government to a college or university for its civic engagement, service learning and volunteerism. In 2013, the Youth Initiative made the President’s Higher Education Honor Roll with Distinction for community service.

Community engagement as defined by The Carnegie Foundation, “describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors 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.”

Read more about lessons learned from the Seattle University Youth Initiative.  

Additional Accolades

“Seattle University is onto something big. The Youth Initiative underscores the original role of higher education in America as the university informs and is informed by the concerns and opportunities of society.” —Joel Zylstra, Director of Community Engagement and Service, Pacific Lutheran University

“This effort is absent even a hint of artifice. The relationship between Seattle U and its neighbors works both ways. A community gets to tap into the considerable resources of the private university on the hill and Seattle U gets to sharpen the Jesuit philosophy of public service that helps distinguish it from other schools.” - The Seattle Times