The University of Washington has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. The UW is the only public, 4-year institution in Washington state to receive this recognition this year.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms. Business students served as consultants to budget-strapped nonprofits and businesses, law students volunteered at legal clinics, and dozens of others organized anti-hunger campaigns.
“Congratulations to the University of Washington and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”
The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the 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. Click here for a full list of Honor Roll recipients.
“This is a great honor for the UW,” said Ed Taylor, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. “We take tremendous pride in our commitment and collaborative efforts to make this a campus that lives up to its commitment to service, justice, and community engagement. We are a University that is about understanding problems and being involved in the resolution of those important problems.”
Collectively, UW students engaged in more than 346,000 hours of service from July 2008 through June 2009, the timeframe encompassed by this recognition. During those hours, students deepened their coursework and contributed to hundreds of community organizations through service learning; served as volunteer tutors in low-income preschools and public K-12 schools; led literacy, art, and environmental projects in rural and tribal schools across Washington over spring break; helped first-generation and low-income high school students apply for college; recruited underrepresented students to the UW; and supported admitted underrepresented students in their transition into the UW. UW programs involved in service activities include the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, the Dream Project, Jumpstart, and the Pipeline Project, which are housed within Undergraduate Academic Affairs, and Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity Student Ambassador and Mentor programs.
Nationwide, college students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.
The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.