For Immediate Release
March 22, 2012
Contact: Cyndi McMahon
Office of College Communications
Washington, D.C.—The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education today honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning.
Gordon's Office of Community Engagement was admitted to the Honor Roll for its work through community-based partnerships, the majority of which are based in Lynn, but also across the North Shore and greater Boston area.
"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 Gordon College and 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. “Gordon College 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 Office of Community Engagement at Gordon College coordinates and supports programs of service-learning and community outreach. These programs include Gordon in Lynn—which reported over 13,000 unpaid service hours for 2011 and involves over 55% of first year students; College Bound—a program that connects Gordon students with children in a large subsidized housing development in Lynn, providing tutors and educational support as well as regular on-campus field trips so children can participate in a variety of academic disciplines such as art, music and physical education; outreach teams serving communities along Boston's North Shore; as well as advocacy and awareness programs on social justice issues. Last year, the Office of Community Engagement's unpaid volunteer service in Lynn reported an estimated value of $80,000 for the City, and since the program began in 2005, an estimated value of $560,000 has helped the people and programs of Lynn.
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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 642 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
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. For a full list of recipients, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll or to learn more about the Office of Community Engagement at Gordon College, visit http://www.gordon.edu/oce or contact Val Buchanan, director, at her Lynn-based office at 781.599.0821.
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.