Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Westminster College with a place on the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
Westminster has earned Honor Roll recognition every year since the program was launched in 2006. More than 1,200 Westminster students volunteered nearly 30,000 hours last academic year (2010-2011) through academic service-learning or other community service.
"A central theme of our curriculum is to foster strong personal and social values as an important outcome for our future graduates," Westminster President Dr. Richard H. Dorman said. "Westminster College is proud to have been recognized for its commitment to service-learning by the Corporation for National and Community Service for the sixth straight year. It affirms that we are succeeding in this mission."
The Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees were 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.
"Our students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges facing our campus community," said Jeff Ledebur, community service coordinator in Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning, who tracks the hours and projects. "It is inspiring to see them achieve impactful results that demonstrate the value of service and volunteerism in their communities, while also displaying the importance Westminster places on service and giving back to those around us. Our students are not only serving, but are also integrating skills and knowledge from their courses into the projects they undertake."
A sampling of local organizations that benefit from Westminster student volunteers include: Lawrence County Community Action Partnership, Head Start, local school districts, Walker Neighborhood House, Adult Literacy Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, City Rescue Mission, Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County, Special Olympics, Royal Family Kids Camp, Habitat for Humanity, Southwest Gardens, and the American Cancer Society.
"Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community," said Robert Velasco, acting CEO of CNCS. "We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities."
CNCS is a strong partner with the nation's colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning and a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, in classes, and in extracurricular activities, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.
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.
Visit the Honor Roll website for more information about the Honor Roll and a complete list of recipients.
The Drinko Center for Experiential Learning was created to enrich undergraduate education at Westminster through advancing world-class teaching as well as by participating in collaborations that address community and regional needs including strengthening K-12 education. The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funding for students to conduct research and to present their research at regional and national conferences. Visit the Drinko Center website for more information about the Drinko Center and its programs.
Contact Lebedur at (724) 946-6194 (email) for additional information.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 376 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 42 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.