Irvine, CA - The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Concordia University Irvine today with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.
“Concordia is honored to be recognized a second time for our commitment to service,” remarks Concordia President Jack Preus. “At Concordia we try to envision what our graduates will be like five years, ten years, even twenty-five years after they leave Concordia. We envision graduates who, in addition to being competent in their callings and well prepared for their careers, are also wise, honorable and cultivated citizens in our society.”
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.
Concordia University Irvine was selected for the institution’s commitment to integrating service into the educational curriculum. Several university courses include a service learning component requiring several hours of service related to the course: students in Dr. Melinda Schulteis’ Nature of Mathematics course have the opportunity to tutor disadvantaged high school students; students in Prof. Adam Lee’s Honors Writing and Research course paired with nursing home residents to help record their memoirs; students in Concordia’s Freshman Success Seminar completed a “service to society” component in which course instructors led a range of service projects, including Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-a-Park, Good Shepherd Home, Irvine Boys and Girls Club, and Trinity Cristo Rey food distribution center.
In 2007, the university underscored its core mission of service by opening the Office of Servant Leadership and Civic Involvement. In addition, Concordia’s campus ministry, abbeywest, also coordinates and supports local and world mission efforts for the campus community. In 2007, the University also partnered with Campus Compact, a national association dedicated to advancing campus-based civic and community engagement by offering resources to help campuses form effective community partnerships, support integration of service in academics, and nurture student leaders. Concordia received a $4000 grant from Campus Compact in 2008, which helped fund service learning in the curriculum, coordination of service events, transportation to projects, and faculty development on service learning topics.
“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 Concordia University Irvine 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.