Monday, June 13, 2011
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Westminster College with a place on the 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
Nearly 650 colleges and universities were admitted to the 2010 Honor Roll for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that number, 114 received recognition of Honor Roll with Distinction. Westminster has earned Honor Roll recognition every year since the program was launched in 2006.
"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 fifth 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 Excellence in Teaching and Learning. "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."
More than 75% of Westminster students volunteered nearly 30,000 hours last year through academic service-learning or other community service.
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.
"As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions," said Patrick Corvington, CEO of CNCS. "Congratulations to these schools and their students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities. We salute the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service."
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 www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll for more information about the Honor Roll and a complete list of recipients.
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 is a top tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 38th among liberal arts colleges, 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 373 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" 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 41 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.
Westminster students volunteering for Habitat for Humanity during Spring Break