The Corporation for National and Community Service honored The University of North Carolina at Pembroke on February 9 with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service.
UNCP’s Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority pitch in with Habitat for Humanity.
It is the University’s third consecutive president’s award from the three-year-old program. In January, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advance- ment of Teaching announced that UNCP earned designation for the 2008 Community Engagement classification for its outreach efforts.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors praised UNCP students for their excellent work.
“I am really proud of our students who commit themselves to volunteering in our community,” Chancellor Meadors said. “This award is a rallying cry for even greater student engagement in even more creative ways.”
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.
UNCP students participate in a variety of community service projects, such as the Student Government Association’s annual canned food drive and the soccer team’s collection for the local newspaper’s Empty Stocking Fund. Volunteers fan out to tutor elementary school children, and volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club, Robeson County Fair and Special Olympics.
Other projects involve the environment, literacy, youth, hunger, homelessness, social justice and more. Some of these projects are the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, FirstBook, Habitat for Humanity, National Day of Service, Martin Luther King Service Challenge, Red Cross blood drives, mentoring, tutoring and much more.
In all, 560 UNCP students contributed 14,171 hours of volunteer service, and service-learning programs led by faculty members as part of a course curriculum engaged an additional 163 students. The Center for Leadership and Service coordinates many of the opportunities.
“Volunteerism and community service come from the heart, and it’s habit forming,” said Aubrey Swett, director of the center. “It is deeply gratifying to help our students get into the habit of helping others.
“Young people today do care, and our program is evidence of that,” Swett concluded. “We’re proud of them.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll, thanks all the UNCP volunteers.
“We salute UNCP for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the board of directors.
The honor roll is a program 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 donated 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 volunteerism 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 volunteerism. 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.
In all, 546 schools were named to the honor roll and 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.