Converse College is among 12 South Carolina colleges named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community. The award, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), is the highest federal honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.This is Converse’s third year receiving the distinction.
“Congratulations to Converse for its dedication to service and commitment to improving its local community,” said Patrick A. Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of 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 through service to others, thanks to the leadership of this institution.”
This academic year, 530 members of the Converse community contributed a total of 10,350 community service hours. Service-learning components were integrated into 31 academic courses, involving 262 students in 3,574 hours of service work. Selected students also participate in the college’s two-year Bonner Leader Program, volunteering 750 hours over a two-year period with Spartanburg community agencies such as the Ellen Hines Smith Girls Home, Children Shelter of the Upstate, Habitat for Humanity and Interim Hospice. Bonner Leaders bring their service work full-circle through weekly training and reflection activities. Converse sponsors many individual service projects throughout the year, with this year’s most intensive effort being a partnership with The Haven for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, during which 76 participants contributed 648 hours of service. Converse also participates in an annual spring break mission trip in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
“It is thrilling to see Converse’s commitment to service learning recognized on a national level,” said Converse President Betsy Fleming. “The Converse experience is designed to cultivate leaders with global awareness, sensitivity to the problems of others and a strong sense of ethical principles. We care deeply about enabling students to effect positive change in the world, and teaching them to do so begins right here in our hometown as we pursue partnerships that serve the community.”
About the Honor Roll
A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a nine percent increase over last year, a sign of the growing interest by colleges and universities in highlighting their efforts to engage students in making a difference in the community. Of these, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.
CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation 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. For a full list of recipients and descriptions of their service, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.
Across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.4 billion.
Last year, CNCS provided more than $215 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment. CNCS is a catalyst for service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with academic curricula. Through these programs, college students serve their communities while strengthening their academic and civic skills.