News

Davidson Maintains Perfect Record on Annual Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

by Davidson College

For the sixth year in a row, Davidson has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Davidson has been included in the Honor Roll every year since the program was launched in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). It is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement.

Honorees for the award were chosen based on scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. Davidson is among 42 colleges and university honorees in the state of North Carolina this year, and 642 nationwide.

"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."

CNCS reported that nearly one million students on Honor Roll campuses engaged in service learning, and more than 1.6 million participated in other forms of community service, contributing a total of more than 105 million hours. According the annual CNCS "Volunteering in America" report, a total of 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.

At Davidson, civic engagement and community-based learning efforts are coordinated through the former community service office. In January 2011, the college renamed it as The Center for Civic Engagement to emphasize the office's goals of centralizing community-based efforts, expanding community-based learning opportunities, and expanding programs in areas such as social action, social entrepreneurship, and nonprofit internships.

The Center for Civic Engagement reports that 38 student organizations on campus focus on direct service, social justice or advocacy, and roughly 90 percent of Davidson students participate in some type of community work each academic year. They contribute an estimated total of 93,000 hours of time to about 165 public and nonprofit community agencies.

The center also has helped to initiate about 15 community-based learning courses in the curriculum that combine direct service with coursework to meet a community need, and provides funding to students to support proposals for service initiatives.

The center sponsors many activities and events throughout the year, such as a Service Leaders Institute, the Orientation Day of Service, a Community Involvement Fair, the Building Skills for Social Change Workshop series, the Summer Community-based Learning Institute for faculty, the year-end Celebration of Service, Service Saturdays, Alternative Breaks trips, the summertime Freedom Schools educational enrichment program, Bonner Scholars program, and Federal Community Service Work-Study Program.