Maryville College honored for community service

April 2, 2012
Contact: Office of Communications
865.981.8207; communications@maryvillecollege.edu

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education recently honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, students, faculty and staff members for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning.

Maryville College was admitted to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its work with over 60 different agencies during the 2010-2011 school year. The campus community helped agencies through both direct volunteering and community-based research projects.

“Averaging well over 1,000 hours a week of service, our students participated in a wide variety of activities, from tutoring children and adult learners in Blount County to international human rights advocacy,” said Preston Fields, Maryville College’s director of community engagement. “We are proud that our students are taking action and putting their liberal arts education at work in the world.”

Maryville College was one of 18 colleges and universities in Tennessee chosen for the honor.

The 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 exists within the higher education community.

“Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,” said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education. “The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses. Galvanizing their students to become involved in projects that address pressing concerns and enrich their academic experience has a lasting impact – both in the communities in which they work and on their own sense of purpose as citizens of the world. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 schools to colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 513 were named to the Honor Roll, 110 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 14 were identified as finalists, and five received the Presidential Award.

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 2010, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.6 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 strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, the corporation provided more than $200 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment. CNCS is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, 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.