UNC Pembroke has been placed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the fourth time since the program’s inception in 2007.
For 2012, 642 schools were named on the list of the nation’s leading colleges and universities for their commitment to improving their communities through community service and service learning. The announcement came from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education.
According to Aubrey Swett, director of Community and Civic Engagement at UNCP, “this year’s recognition is special.
“It recognizes the university’s commitment to the local region and the region’s willingness to embrace the university as a community partner,” he said. “Our students, faculty and staff are truly making a difference through engagement and service.”
UNCP’s community service program is diverse and growing, especially its service-learning component which joins civic engagement and the classroom. During the 2011-12 academic year, there were 336 students enrolled in 32 service-learning courses that engaged in projects with community partners, including Pembroke Housing Authority, Guardian ad Litem, Public Schools of Robeson County, Lumbee elders and the Rape Crisis Center.
Other students volunteered as mentors in high schools, with summer youth programs and with literacy programs in schools. During the annual Three Days of Service, 122 student volunteers racked up 488 volunteer hours, and during the annual Day of Service, 130 volunteers contributed a total of 528 hours of service.
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exist within the higher education community.
CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.