Susquehanna Named to Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service
Published on June 8, 2011
SELINSGROVE—Susquehanna University is one of just over 100 schools nationwide recently named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, for its strong institutional commitment to service and compelling partnerships that produce measurable results for the community.
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) identifies honorees for the award 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.
Having been named to the honor roll for five consecutive years, Susquehanna University has long fostered a campus culture that inspires civic leadership and social responsibility. About 90 percent of students participate in community service at some point in their student career, according to Andy Nagy, AmeriCorps VISTA coordinator of civic engagement.
First-year students at Susquehanna get a chance to work with faculty, staff and peer mentors on service projects that address homelessness, both near the university and in Washington, D.C. In addition, several options within Susquehanna’s unique GO (Global Opportunities) program are centered on service learning. For example, the college’s award-winning SU CASA program takes participants to Costa Rica and Nicaragua for two weeks annually to earn academic credit while serving at congregations, clinics, refugee and immigrant communities, hospitals and an orphanage. Twice a year, Susquehanna sends teams of students, faculty and staff to New Orleans to assist in hurricane recovery efforts. Other service-learning GO programs engage students in poverty relief in the Philippines, community development in Peru and peace-building in Northern Ireland.
“I think what really set us apart this year was the addition of so many GO programs that have a service focus,” said Nagy. “Each year, we grow our outreach programs, with our students consistently bringing new ideas to the table. In the past five years, the volume and quality of our service programs have grown tremendously.”
"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 A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS. “Congratulations to Susquehanna University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities.”
The honor roll is a program of CNCS, 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 list of honorees is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.
In 2009, according to the CNCS, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.4 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college-student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training, run senior service programs and much more.
Karen M. Jones