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

Georgetown College was admitted to the Honor Roll for its current number of courses featuring service-learning projects or some type of experiential learning components (approximately 15-20 courses per academic year in our Education, Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, and Religion Departments), and the additional courses or projects per academic year that are planned as a result of the recently-approved Spirit, Mind, Action Quality Enhancement Plan.

Georgetown College Provost Rosemary Allen said, “As we grow our Spirit, Mind, Action QEP, we will find more and more opportunities to support the goals identified in the President’s Community Service Honor Roll program.  Georgetown College looks forward to the opportunity to be more fully integrated in serving our local community, and learning from our community partners.”

“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. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”

“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 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.

Initially, Georgetown College anticipates five courses or projects per academic year and eventually it plans to offer 10-15 experiences per academic year. Faculty and Staff can propose courses or projects, such as existing courses or Alternative Spring Break.

“We have many wonderful service projects happening around campus, several initiated by our dedicated students,” said Dr. Todd Hamilton, Chair of Georgetown’s Chemistry Department and co-leader of the Quality Enhancement Plan. “Through the Spirit, Mind, Action Program, we can coordinate these valuable opportunities, develop new avenues for civic engagement, and measure the impact on student learning and the surrounding community.”

A student-led group that has already made quite an impact on the entire campus – and is attracting a new wave of socially-conscious incoming students – is the Student Abolitionist Movement. SAM has been raising awareness, educating, advocating and taking action against global human trafficking for the past two years. It has worked closely with the College’s Modern Day Slavery Project, which was started by two professors and embraced by all disciplines. The project brought the international Stop Paying for Slavery Tour to campus a year ago and Kentucky’s first conference on Human Trafficking in Spring 2012. MDS also attracted the attention of the Jenzabar Foundation, which granted it major funding to keep the ball rolling at Georgetown College.

“I am so grateful to the faculty, staff, and students whose zeal for service to others has led to this recognition,” said Dr. Allen, Georgetown’s academic dean.  “True community service comes from the heart, and our campus has demonstrated that there’s a lot of heart invested in this project.”

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. For a full list of recipients, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.

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.

The Corporation for National and Community Service 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.

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.

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The Corporation for National and Community Service (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. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

Contact: Dr. Todd Hamilton, Co-leader, Spirit, Mind, Action Quality Enhancement Plan Todd_Hamilton@georgetowncollege.edu - 502-863-7080