Washington, D.C. – As colleges across the country honor their graduates this commencement season, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Clarke University as a leader among institutions of higher education for their support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Clarke was 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 from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to 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.
“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,” said Patrick A. Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of CNCS. “Congratulations to Clarke 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.”
In the past year, members of the Clarke University community completed over 19,400 hours of service – the equivalent of over 810 days of giving back. This year, Clarke was recognized for three significant service programs: Physically Active Lifestyle Solutions (PALS), the NOLA Service Trip and Kids Against Hunger.
The PALS program is a partnership between Clarke University’s Athletic Training Department and Medical Associates Clinic in Dubuque. Through the program, certified athletic trainers and athletic training students work individually and in groups with children and adolescents to introduce and reinforce active, healthy lifestyles including physical fitness, proper nutrition and decision- making.
In 2010, the university’s campus ministry collaborated with Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO) for its spring mission trip. RTNO provides building services to low-income families. In New Orleans, they are working fervently to rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Eleven Clarke students and four faculty/staff members traveled by van to give a week of physical labor to RTNO. The mission team spent that time cleaning out debris, clearing a yard and tearing down the garage of just one resident that they will never forget, Miss Ruthie.
In 2010, physical therapy and campus ministry students challenged each member of the campus community to raise money to support Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization, is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children throughout the world. Students raised enough money to package 16,318 meals which were packed by 48 students and 37 faculty and staff members. The meals arrived in the poverty-stricken island of Haiti just weeks before the earthquake which nearly destroyed it.
A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a nine 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, run senior service programs, and much more.
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, CNCS 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. CNCS is 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.