TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for helping the community through service and service-learning partnerships.
UA, named to the list for the third consecutive year by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education, was one of 110 schools to receive the honor with distinction.
“The Presidential Honor Roll formally recognizes UA’s commitment to teaching students to identify needs within their communities and equipping students with the skills to effect change within those communities,” said Stephen Black, director of the UA Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility.
Following April 27, 2011, when a nearly mile-wide tornado ripped a path of destruction through Tuscaloosa, a record number of UA students, faculty and staff volunteered with a host of relief agencies, and faculty members quickly developed and adapted service-learning courses through which students play key roles in recovery efforts – endeavors that will continue for several years.
“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. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead,” Ochoa said.
In the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 20,000 UA students completed some 780,000 hours of community service with more than 120 community partners. Additionally, an estimated 6,300 students participated in 150 service-learning courses.
“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.
CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, listed a total of 642 schools 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. For a full list of recipients, go to www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service 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.
Created in 2005, the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility established university-wide programming supporting the development of projects that nurture social responsibility and reflective, thoughtful citizenship. CESR staff members develop – and assist faculty members in developing – service-learning courses that engage community organizations in partnerships designed to both enhance academic goals and apply scholarly learning to salient community issues. For more information, visit cesr.ua.edu.
The mission of the Community Service Center is to educate students for service advocacy and leadership, civic responsibility, and lifelong volunteerism by increasing awareness of community needs, resources and opportunities for social problem solving. Visit volunteer.ua.edu to learn more.