Westminster College Receives Federal Award for Service
40% of Westminster Undergrads Performed 30,000 Hours of Community Service
SALT LAKE CITY – The Corporation for National and Community Service named Westminster College to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll With Distinction for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth.
“This is the second year Westminster has received this honor,” said Dr. Gary Daynes, Director of Westminster’s Center for Civic Engagement. “This award not only recognizes the number of service-learning activities we have and our participating students, but it highlights how well integrated service-learning is into our campus life.”
Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll 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 a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percent of students participating in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. Westminster was the only school in Utah named to the Honor Roll With Distinction.
“More than 40 percent of our undergraduates are involved in some type of service-learning project sponsored by the college,” said Dr. Daynes. “Last year alone, Westminster students contributed over 30,000 hours of community service through Westminster-sponsored events.”
According to Daynes, service-learning is incorporated into disciplines across the curriculum, from nursing and education to math and science. For example, Westminster’s math department partners with East High School to provide tutoring to all levels of math up to pre-calculus. Volunteer tutoring, in particular, puts mathematical knowledge to practical use and connects students to the broader community.
“Additionally, our Westminster Institute for Leadership and Learning (WILL) project focuses on some of the lower-income students and parents in the area and conducts a series of classes to teach parents how to be advocates for their kids and solve community problems,” Dr. Daynes said.
The Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
In congratulating the winners, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, “Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce. We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country.”
Overall, the Community Service Honor Roll awarded six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, four schools were recognized as Special Achievement Award winners, 127 as Honor Roll With Distinction members and 391 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 528 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll. Brigham Young University, Salt Lake Community College, Utah Valley State college and Weber State University were named to the Honor Roll.
“There is no question that the universities and colleges who have made an effort to participate and win the Honor Roll award are themselves being rewarded,” said American Council on Education President David Ward. “Earning this distinction is not easy. But now each of these schools will be able to wear this award like a badge of honor.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information, visit www.westminstercollege.edu.