Irvine, CA - Concordia University Irvine 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 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 Concordia University Irvine 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.
“Concordia is honored to be recognized for a third consecutive year for our commitment to service,” remarks Concordia Interim President Loren Kramer. “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.”
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.
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 .