Miami Dade College Selected by Carnegie Foundation for Inaugural Leadership for Public Purpose Classification

Miami, June 14, 2024Miami Dade College (MDC) has been named one of the 25 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the first Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification. This elective designation is awarded by the American Council on Education (ACE), the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“It is an honor to be an inaugural recipient of the 2024 Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose,” said MDC President Madeline Pumariega. “At Miami Dade College, we are dedicated to excellence in education and committed to our mission of driving economic mobility by shaping leaders who go on to make a meaningful impact in our community and beyond.”

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is the nation’s leading framework for categorizing the variety of U.S. higher education institutions. MDC proudly joins the ranks of 25 institutions nationwide celebrated for intentionally fostering leadership abilities among students, faculty, and staff.

As part of our commitment to student leadership development, over 34,900 students have enrolled in more than 2,500 leadership course sections, empowering them to make a difference in our community. Last academic year alone, more than 133 faculty members integrated Academic Service-Learning into 342 class sections, resulting in 1,492 students contributing over 36,500 service hours to nonprofit organizations and public schools.

Incorporating leadership in educational quality shapes well-rounded individuals who climb the ladder of social mobility and the ripple effect on families in our community is far-reaching. MDC’s economic mobility index ranked #1 among Florida’s predominantly associate degree-granting institutions with Pell student percentages above 50%. For every $1 invested in their education, MDC students receive $4.70 in lifetime earnings, and society gains $10.30 in added income and social savings.

Serving as an economic driver, MDC collaborates with industry and government agencies to pioneer innovative programs that prepare students to lead in the future workforce. Ranked #1 for four consecutive years in students earning Industry Certifications, an economic impact study calculates a $3.4 billion total annual impact in our community, with MDC activities and its students supporting 1 out of every 38 jobs in Miami-Dade County.

“ACE is proud to welcome the inaugural recipients of the Carnegie Elective Classification for Leadership for Public Purpose,” said ACE President Ted Mitchell. “The institutions in this cohort serve as models in higher education, demonstrating excellence in nurturing leaders who are prepared to address and solve pressing public challenges, which is sorely needed in our society right now.”

Representing 19 states across the United States, of the 25 institutions classified in the inaugural 2024 cycle, 15 are public institutions, 10 are private and two are service academies. Seven are Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), with one MSI also designated as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution.

“For several years, the Doerr Institute for New Leaders has substantively supported the American Council on Education and the Carnegie Foundation’s collaborative efforts to establish the classification. We are excited about continuing such efforts in service of improving higher education’s commitment to fostering integrated and intentional leader development for students,” said Bernard B. Banks, director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders.

“Congratulations to these pioneering recipients of the inaugural Carnegie Leadership for Public Purpose Classification,” said Carnegie Foundation President Timothy F.C. Knowles. “These institutions have demonstrated a relentless commitment to fostering leaders dedicated to the pursuit of vital public goods. Students from these institutions will undoubtedly shape a brighter future for us all, upholding fundamental American values and advancing opportunity for the nation.”

About ACE
ACE is a membership organization that leads higher education with a united vision for the future, galvanizing our members to make change and collaborating across the sector to design solutions for today’s challenges, serve the needs of a diverse student population, and shape effective public policy. As the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, our strength lies in our diverse membership of more than 1,600 colleges and universities, related associations, and other organizations in America and abroad. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities. For more information, please visit or follow ACE on X (formerly known as Twitter) @ACEducation.

About The Carnegie Foundation
The mission of the Carnegie Foundation is to catalyze transformational change in education so that every student has the opportunity to live a healthy, dignified, and fulfilling life. Enacted by an act of Congress in 1906, the Foundation has a rich history of driving transformational change in the education sector, including the establishment of TIAA-CREF and the creation of the Education Testing Service, the GRE, and the Carnegie Classifications for Higher Education. The Foundation was also instrumental in the formation of the U.S. Department of Education and Pell Grants, and most recently in the use of networked improvement science to redress systemic inequities in educational opportunities and outcomes.

About The Doerr Institute for New Leaders
The Doerr Institute for New Leaders is a university-wide leader development enterprise at Rice University. Its mission is to elevate the leadership capacity of Rice students and advance the practice of leader development across higher education. At its core, the Doerr Institute is dedicated to the belief that inculcating a leader identity is developed through a myriad of rigorous activities (e.g., academic study, proper introspection, and hands-on experimentation). Since its founding by John and Ann Doerr in 2015, the Doerr Institute has impacted more than 5,000 students through cutting-edge research, experiential learning, and personalized coaching. For more information, please visit or @doerrinstitute.

About Miami Dade College
Miami Dade College is the most diverse institution in the nation, with 167 nations and 63 languages represented in its student body. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer over 300 distinct degree pathways, including associate and baccalaureate degrees, certifications and apprenticeships.  MDC is the recipient of many top national awards, including the prestigious Aspen Prize. The College changes lives through accessible, high-quality teaching and learning experiences. It is home to the Miami Culinary Institute, the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex, the Miami Fashion Institute, The Idea Center, the Cybersecurity Center of the Americas, two AI Centers, the Center for Learning, Innovation and Simulation at the Medical Campus, the Business Innovation & Technology Center, the School for Advanced Studies and New World School of the Arts, among others. MDC has been recognized among the nation’s “Great Colleges to Work For” since the program’s inception. The College serves as an economic, cultural and civic leader for the advancement of our diverse global community. MDC alumni and employees contribute more than $3 billion annually to the local economy, and graduates occupy top leadership positions in every major industry. MDC’s renowned rich cultural programming includes the Miami Book Fair, Miami Film Festival, the National Historic Landmark Miami Freedom Tower, Koubek Center Mansion and Gardens, Live Arts Miami at MDC, the Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, and the Museum of Art and Design.  MDC has admitted more than 2.5 million students and counting, since it opened its doors in 1960. Approximately 120,000 students are currently enrolled. For more information, visit