By Lindsay Lorenz
PBN Staff Writer
WASHINGTON – Several local colleges and universities were among those recently recognized by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education for their efforts to improve their communities.
According to its website, “The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.”
A total of 690 schools were named to this year’s honor roll. Of this number, 14 were designated honor roll finalists, including University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which was recognized for its support of community service, service-learning and civic engagement.
“This honor reflects the commitment of our campus community to giving back to the SouthCoast, the country and the world,” Chancellor Divina Grossman said in a statement. “Our students, staff and faculty are among the best in the country, and I applaud each and every one of them for demonstrating the values that make UMass Dartmouth a national leader in civic engagement.”
According to a university press release, in 2007, UMass Dartmouth embarked on a strategic planning goal that every student would be exposed to service-learning. Since, the university says the number of students, staff and faculty who participate has increased by more than 500 percent.
UMass Dartmouth added that this is the second consecutive year it’s been listed in the honor roll’s top tier, and that it’s one of two institutions that remain from last year’s list.
UMass Dartmouth was the only school in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to achieve that level of recognition. However, three local colleges and universities made the general honor roll. They include, Fall River’s Bristol Community College, and Providence’s Johnson & Wales University and Providence College.
Five institutions were named Presidential Award winners, the highest distinction granted by the organization. The University of Connecticut was recognized for general community service, in addition to Georgia Perimeter College, Dunwoody, Ga.; Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pa.; La Sierra University, Riverside, Calif., and Nazareth College, Rochester, N.Y.
For the full list of institutions named to the honor roll, visit www.nationalservice.gov/about/initiatives/honorroll.asp.