For the third year in a row, Xavier has been admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues such as literacy, neighborhood revitalization and supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.
“To receive this honor for a third time truly speaks to Xavier’s strong commitment to our Jesuit, Catholic mission of solidarity and being men and women for and with others,” said Xavier President Michael J. Graham, S.J. “I commend our students as well as our faculty and staff for their outstanding work with our community.”
Xavier highlighted three area for this year’s President’s Honor Roll:
• The eight exemplary scholarship students chosen each year as Community-Engaged Fellows. They commit at least 10 hours a week to community engagement, moving along a continuum from service to leadership to partnership, and they critically analyze quality of life issues such as sustainability, transportation, housing, education, financial stability and health.
• Xavier’s Academic Service Learning Semesters, which combine a rigorous academic schedule with 12-15 hours weekly of contextualized community service in an intensive immersion experience. The program is guided and supervised by Xavier faculty and local church and community contacts. Program activities reflect Xavier’s Jesuit mission, preparing students to understand diversity across ethnic, linguistic and class boundaries and to build relationships with community-based organizations and leaders.
• The Xavier Philanthropy Program, which since 2003 has awarded grants to 33 courses and 85 partner organizations. Participating faculty receive grants to be used in a course. Students investigate local organizations related to the course and decide how to distribute the funds to the most effective ones. Students studying environmental issues in literature awarded funds to the Civic Garden Center Education Program for Community Gardens and a youth education program operated by the environmental organization Imago.
Additionally the creation of the James and Delrose Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning in 2008 established a coordinating body within the Division of Academic Affairs for Xavier's diverse engagement activities. The Eigel Center assists faculty, students, administrators and staff in building community partnerships that advance learning and pursue social justice.
“As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions,” says Patrick A. Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
“Congratulations to Xavier University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities. We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”
A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a 9-percent increase over last year, a sign of the growing interest by colleges and universities in highlighting their efforts to engage students in making a difference in the community.
On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.4 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training and run senior service programs.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, the organization provided more than $215 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment. It s a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, in classes and in extracurricular activities, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.
The corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. For a full list of recipients and descriptions of their service, visit the national service honor roll website.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.