December 19, 2014
For the ninth consecutive year, West Chester University’s student volunteers have ensured the University a place on the prestigious President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The Corporation for National and Community Service annually names universities to the Honor Roll to recognize institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in their communities.
"This prestigious award highlights the role West Chester University plays in meeting community needs and placing our students on a lifelong path of active citizenship," notes Jodi Roth-Saks, director of the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs.
In the 2013-2014 academic year, West Chester students recorded 605,532 hours of service to area organizations, schools, communities and individuals. These hours are from student clubs and organizations, field experiences and student teaching, service learning courses, residence hall associations, athletics, and volunteer work performed with non-profit agencies or governmental organizations.
By the numbers: There were 200 faculty who included a service-learning component in their courses and 6,775 students engaged in community service through those courses. More than $106,500 was raised for charitable causes, benefiting more than 220 community agencies.
Roth-Saks notes that the actual number of service hours is greater than the hours reported since it does not include individuals' volunteer time or every course in which students complete field placements, practica and internships with non-profit agencies or government organizations.
In the spring 2014 semester, the Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs initiated the two-semester Service-Learning Canvassing Project, designed to provide a professional development opportunity where faculty could learn how to integrate service-learning into the curriculum, become well informed about resources, and engage others with this new knowledge. The office continued the outreach with a service-learning curriculum integration workshop in the fall 2014 semester.
To date, the Canvassing Project has led to 12 new service learning course sections being added to the 2013-2014 report and nine new service-learning course sections being developed in 2014-2015.
The Office of Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs also established a volunteer council and an international service-learning committee. The former assists representatives from student organizations in promoting their events and creating partnerships with one another to reach philanthropic goals. The latter works with the University's Center for International Programs to support faculty and staff who lead service-learning trips abroad.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs.