BC Honored for Exemplary Community Service
named to president's higher education community service honor roll
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (March 2012) — Boston College has been named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a national recognition of higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community by highlighting colleges and universities that play a role in solving community problems and placing students on a lifelong path of civic engagement.
"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," said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education's assistant secretary for postsecondary education.
Boston College was honored for the community service exemplified in three University initiatives: PULSE, St. Columbkille Partnership School and 4Boston.
Through PULSE, an academic service-learning program that combines field work with classroom study, about 400 Boston College students each devote 10-12 hours a week to a social service organization. The students volunteer in some 50 sites throughout the Boston area, from homeless shelters and food pantries to afterschool programs and correctional facilities.
About 350 Boston College students particpate in 4Boston, a service program organized by the University's Office of Campus Ministry. The students devote four hours a week throughout the academic year to Boston agencies serving the poor, ill and marginalized. BC students volunteer in afterschool programs, soup kitchens, hospitals and adult education programs, among other places.
At the St. Columbkille Partnership School, Boston College entered into an innovative partnership with the Archdiocese of Boston and St. Columbkille Parish to save the struggling Catholic pre-K to grade 8 school. More than a dozen teachers at the school have earned master's degrees from BC, tuition-free. BC students serve as student-teachers, mentors and tutors at the school. BC professors and administrators provide curriculum development and information technology assistance to the school and read to and mentor students.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (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.
"We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom," said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006. "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."
The 2012 Honor Roll recipients were announced this week at the American Council on Education’s 94th Annual Meeting in Los Angeles.
Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. CNCS is a strong partner with the nation's colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, CNCS 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. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.