President?s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Posted on August 4, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Bob Davidson

August 1, 2006 202-606-6906, rdavidson@cns.gov

Honoring Colleges that Care

President?s Honor Roll Will Spotlight Universities? Community Service Efforts

(Washington, D.C.) ? The Corporation for National and Community Service today announced a new federal program designed to recognize colleges and universities for their commitment to student service and to increase public awareness of the impact that college students have on their local communities.

Called the President?s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the new program is co-sponsored by the Corporation, the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the President?s Council on Service and Civic Participation. It is presented in cooperation with Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,000 college and university presidents.

?Institutions of higher education have a long tradition of service to their communities,? said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation, which oversees Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. ?When colleges organize effective community service programs, they do so not only to meet the needs of the communities that surround them, but to improve the academic and civic lives of their students, faculty, and staff. The Honor Roll is a great way to recognize the year-round civic contributions of our colleges and universities and to promote effective community service programs and practices.?

?More than ever before young people are answering the call to serve; actively seeking out ways to improve the communities in which they live,? said Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. ?This new program highlights the important role our colleges and universities play in not only equipping students to succeed in the workforce but also preparing and encouraging them to make a difference in the lives of others.?

All colleges and universities whose students have made meaningful contributions to community service during the 2005-2006 academic year are invited to apply for the Honor Roll online at http://www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll. The program is designed to recognize the broad commitment to community service by institutions of higher education, including the level of student engagement as well as institutional support, such as service-learning courses, community service coordinating offices, and exemplary service projects. In its first year, the program will place a special emphasis on volunteer service performed by college students in the wake of last year?s devastating hurricanes. The deadline for applications is September 15, 2006. Honor Roll members and Presidential Award winners will be announced at the Campus Compact 20th Anniversary celebration on October 17.

?After Katrina, our nation came together to help our neighbors in need, and some of the greatest givers were our colleges and universities,? said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, whose agency helped to create the Universities Rebuilding America Partnership after the storms hit. ?Tens of thousands of college students mobilized during their winter and spring breaks this past academic year, often through university-sponsored programs, to help communities clean up and rebuild what the storms left in their path, and thousands more are continuing their commitment this summer.?

The response by college students following the hurricanes is part of an overall shift in interest toward volunteering and civic engagement by young adults. Over the past several years, colleges around the country have been reporting steady increases in community service participation. According to UCLA?s annual survey of 260,000 college freshmen, two out of three (66.3 percent) students entering college in 2005 said it is essential or very important to help others who are in difficulty. That is the highest this figure has been in the past 25 years, and an increase of 3.9 percentage points over the 2004 rate.

The Corporation has placed engagement by college students in volunteer service as one of the key elements of its new five-year strategic plan. Together with its partners in the higher education community, the Corporation hopes to increase engagement in service nationwide from 3.2 million college students last year to 5 million by the year 2010. Each year, the Corporation makes a significant investment in building a culture of service on college campuses through its funding of Learn and Serve America and AmeriCorps programs at institutions of higher education. In addition to direct grants to support service-learning and engagement of students in their communities, the Corporation also has made available more than $1 billion on Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to members who complete their service and use their awards to pay for college tuition or to pay back student loans.

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation provides opportunities for nearly 2 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information on the Corporation, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov/


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