Alma College Makes National Service Honor Roll
For the fourth straight year, Alma College has received national recognition for its commitment to volunteerism, service-learning and civic engagement from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
Alma College was admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service. The Corporation, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
Students serve meals at Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit.
“Service takes place in a variety of formats at Alma College,” says Anne Ritz, the College’s service-learning coordinator. “Students volunteer to meet community needs through participation with a number of organizations, including the American Red Cross, Masonic Pathways, the Pine River Community Action Group, Big Brothers Big Sisters and many more. They also mentor children in area schools and perform service overseas. Students grow civically and gain valuable life skills through their participation as volunteers.”
Alma data reflects that 86 percent of the 2010 graduating seniors participated in academic service learning during their time at Alma, with service-learning enrollment during 2009-10 topping 550, says Ritz. An additional 600 students not enrolled in service-learning classes also participated in community service and civic engagement activities.
Exemplary projects at Alma include:
• The Explore/Mentor PLUS (People Learning and Uniting in Service) After School Program, in which college students provide homework help, enrichment classes and recreation activities for Alma middle and high school students.
• The Alternative Break program, in which students, faculty and staff serve in a variety of capacities during winter and spring breaks. Service issues include affordable housing, children’s health, disabilities, disaster relief, immigration/border issues and rural poverty.
• Alma College Community Café Partnership Day, an affiliation with First Presbyterian Church in Alma, in which Alma College students, faculty and staff serve meals, eat with participants, clean up, and donate cafeteria meal points to support the preparation of the dinner by Sodexo, the campus food service organization.
• Overseas service by members of Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), including teaching local villagers in Uganda entrepreneurial and business ethics skills and creating a sustainable business plan for the inventory, sale and marketing of their handcrafted items.
A recent Spring Term class visited Detroit for service at a soup kitchen.
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector, with 3.2 million students performing more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country — service valued at more than $6.4 billion, according to data reported by the CNCS.
"As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions," says Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS. “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”
Honorees for the Community Service Honor Roll are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovativeness 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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service 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.”
Alma College also was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Posted: Thu, May 26th, 2011 at 8:41AM