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VIDEO: University of Cincinnati Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service


A federal agency recognizes UC for its exemplary service to the community.

Date: 2/19/2009 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover & Andrew Higley (Video: Jay Yocis)

UC ingot  

The Corporation for National and Community Service has named UC to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.  

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition an educational institution 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. UC was among 546 schools named in February as Honor Roll members.

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.

Kathy Dick, director of UC’s Center for Community Engagement, reports that more than 5,000 UC students commit to some form of community service activity each academic year.

Habitat
UC Habitat project

This activity could involve service learning – reflective educational experiences blended with service activities that foster a deeper understanding of course content and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility – or, it could be community service as part of a student group or individual service.

Dick adds that among UC’s exemplary service programs are

  • The annual university-wide partnership with Cincinnati Habitat for Humanity, in which UC volunteers spend the academic year building community by building a home with a qualifying family. This year, the sixth partnership has involved 198 student volunteers.
  • Zoo-Mates, a partnership involving UC, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, and Project Connect, an agency that serves children experiencing homelessness in Cincinnati Public Schools. Now in its third year, Zoo-Mates pairs 30 UC students with 30 children experiencing homelessness for yearlong mentoring relationships. 
  • UC’s Art in the Market program, under the direction of Flavia Bastos, associate professor of art education, which teams local urban teens and students within UC’s internationally ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) to improve local neighborhoods by creating public art.
    Art in the Market
    Art in the Market


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, as well as nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.
 
“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 the University of Cincinnati for making community service a campus priority and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”

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