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Clarke College Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

posted on February 9, 2009

The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Clarke College today with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.  

“Each year, it is humbling to see the dedication our students, faculty and staff bring as they serve in our own community, throughout our country and around the world,” said Clarke President Joanne M. Burrows, SC, Ph.D. “Service has been central to the Clarke experience throughout its history and we are honored to join the list of leaders in this area.”

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.

Last year, Clarke students contributed over 18,000 hours of service in a variety of projects. Among the College’s most high-profile service activities is Into the Streets – a service day held twice each year. Over 200 participants regularly engage in service during Into the Streets throughout the Dubuque community.
 
"Into the Streets is important because it changes people's outlooks on various social topics," said one student participant. "It's one thing to read about volunteers and helping, and it's another to go 'into the streets.' It fulfills a spiritual need."
 
Service at Clarke is also interwoven into the curriculum. For example, a team from the Clarke education department traveled to Quito, Ecuador, last May to serve at Centro Muchacho Trabajador (the Working Boys Center).  The team of students and faculty from Clarke assisted the Ecuadorian classroom teachers and students in the school, helping them incorporate new teaching techniques into their daily work and also providing them with much needed supplies.

“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 Clarke College 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 College 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.

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