Alma College Makes National Service Honor Roll
For the fifth straight year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has honored Alma College for its commitment to volunteerism and service.
Alma College was admitted to the 2012 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 642 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
“Service takes place in many ways at Alma College,” says Anne Ritz, the College’s service-learning coordinator. “Students meet community needs through participation with a number of organizations, including Alma Public Schools, the American Red Cross, Gratiot Literacy Council, United Way, Masonic Pathways, the Pine River Community Action Group, Commission on Aging, Big Brothers Big Sisters and many more.”
Alma data reflects that 89 percent of the 2011 graduating seniors enrolled in academic service learning, with 50 percent of the class completing three or more service learning courses during their undergraduate career, says Ritz.
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, education, environmental sustainability, food and nutrition, health and wellness, immigration/border issues and rural poverty.
• The New Frontier Initiative, designed to promote and encourage the idea that attending college can be a reality for local youth. Student volunteers hosted and led numerous college access opportunities on campus and in the community in collaboration with Alma Public Schools and Alma Community Education.
Students volunteer at a retreat center.
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector. In 2010, 3.1 million students performed more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country — service valued at more than $6.6 billion, according to data reported by the CNCS.
“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,” says 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.”
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.
Posted: Tue, April 3rd, 2012 at 7:55AM