Date: February 9, 2009
Department: University Relations
"UMass Dartmouth takes great pride in the service that its students, faculty and staff provide to the community," Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack said. "I want to congratulate all of our students, faculty and staff who have tirelessly served in so many ways -- from inspiring children to read to protecting our fragile coastline to incubating new businesses and so much more."
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
Among the highlights of the UMass Dartmouth community engagement portfolio are the following:
-- The September, 2008 establishment of a new School of Education, Public Policy, and Civic Engagement designed to mobilize and coordinate university teaching and research assets to address significant education and social challenges in the region.
-- Inclusion of a requirement that every student will have a service learning experience by 2012.
-- Location of the university's School for Marine Sciences and Technology in New Bedford, Star Store Arts Campus and a continuing education center in the city of New Bedford; and location of the university's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center, a continuing education center, and a future Bio-Manufacturing Center in the city of Fall River.
-- Convening of the SouthCoast Development Partnership and SouthCoast Education Compact to mobilize the academic, business and government sectors to approach challenges and opportunities in a regional manner.
-- An active America Reads program that results in UMass Dartmouth students providing thousands of hours of reading assistance and other service to inner city children.
"In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges," said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. "We salute UMass Dartmouth for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others."
Overall, the Corporation honored six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll With Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.
The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.
"I offer heartfelt congratulations to those institutions named to the 2008 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. College and university students across the country are making a difference in the lives of others every day -- as are the institutions that encourage their students to serve others," said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.
Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation's Volunteering in America 2007 study. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America's college students. The Corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to www.nationalservice.gov.
Last month, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching elected UMass Dartmouth for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification. The University joined 118 others from around the United States in securing the prestigious classification along with 76 institutions identified in the 2006 selection process.