Washington, D.C. – As colleges across the country honor their graduates this commencement season, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Southern Oregon University as a leader among institutions of higher education for their support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. SOU was admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community. It’s the 4th year in a row that SOU has been named to the honor roll.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.
“As the class of 2011 crosses the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their community 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 Southern Oregon University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities. We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”
Connected learning outside the classroom is a key benefit of a Southern Oregon University education. Last year more than 400 SOU classes and 8,960 students included community-based activities, benefitting organizations throughout the Rogue Valley. “SOU is committed to being a strong community partner,” said SOU President Mary Cullinan. “The Honor Roll underscores the value we place on serving our region.”
A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a nine percent increase over last year, a sign of the growing interest by colleges and universities in highlighting their efforts to engage students in making a difference in the community.
On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2009, 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.
CNCS is 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. 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. For a full list of recipients and descriptions of their service, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.