The University of San Diego was recognized this month as one of 641 colleges and universities honored for its support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement in the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is USD’s fifth consecutive year on the prestigious list.
The selection was made by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an independent federal agency that leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative. CNCS has administered the Honor Roll since 2006.
The President’s Honor Roll seeks to increase the public’s awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole.
In fact, CNCS says a total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a nine percent increase from the previous year.
This recognition illustrates what the University of San Diego’s Center for Community Service-Learning (CSL) vision has been for the past 25 years. “As a campus we want to make sure students have an experience outside of the classroom” said CSL Director Chris Nayve. “Working in partnership with the community is part of USD’s mission; it’s part of our DNA.”
A total of 6,688 USD students dedicated 386,221 hours in community-based work during the 2009-2010 academic year, often using the skills learned in the classroom. Law students offer free legal services, nursing students work at community health clinics; other students rebuild homes after disasters, tutor pre-school children in underserved communities, and much more.
“A community-based experience is critical, more than ever,” Nayve said. “Students are expecting that their degree matters; we are finding that 70 plus percent of graduates now are expecting that wherever they work, it’s going to connect back to a larger social purpose.”
Nayve says an added bonus to being an honoree is the opportunity to engage and connect with alumni on community projects locally and around the world.
“The purpose of the honor role is to highlight how deep USD is involved in the community, more than just service-learning, more than just the Greek life, or university ministry, but really through schools and other departments,” he said.
– Leslie Luna ‘07