The Carnegie Classifications are an enduring institution in higher education – but they’re about to undergo a facelift that could be dramatic.

This week’s episode of The Key explores the recent news that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching -- which created the main system we use to differentiate among types of colleges and universities about 50 years ago – had chosen the American Council on Education, the largest and most diverse association of college presidents, to remake and run the classifications going forward.

Tim Knowles of Carnegie and Ted Mitchell of ACE discuss the new partnership and why the time is right to refresh the classifications. They emphasize their plan to add a significant focus on whether and how much colleges and universities contribute to social mobility and racial equity, potentially by adding an entirely new classification that would sort institutions by the degree to which they are engines of mobility and equity.

The episode includes a conversation with Brendan Cantwell, an associate professor and coordinator of the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education program at Michigan State University, who discusses the potential unintended consequences of focusing too much on social mobility in college rankings. 

Hosted by Inside Higher Ed Editor Doug Lederman

Episode Transcript


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