– One of 11 institutions to be named as a finalist for the Presidential Award, 641 recognized overall
Jackson State University has been named to the 2010 President’s Higher
Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Presidential Award is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Only 11 institutions of higher education in the country received this honor. Jackson State is the only Mississippi institution and the only Historically Black College or University named this year.
“It is wonderful to be recognized on a national level for our community service work,” said JSU President Carolyn Meyers. “But more importantly, the work is really making a positive impact on our students. I’m convinced that our students are truly appreciating what it means to give of themselves to help others.”
Since 2007, JSU has required students to complete 120 community service hours to fulfill graduation requirements. During the 2009-2010 academic year, 28 faculty members and 9,000 students from almost every academic discipline offered service-learning courses in collaboration with over 65 community partners. Together, the JSU volunteers contributed 143,612 community service hours. The marked growth in service-learning and community service also represents a comprehensive planning and assessment process that encourages students and staff to engage in community and public service. In January, the university also received the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement classification.
Among JSU’s many community service programs is Kids Kollege. For 26 years, more than 38,000 families and their children have received educational services through the Kids Kollege after-school, weekend and summer programs. Also, the Mississippi Learning Institute, a research-based literacy partnership between JSU and Jackson Public Schools, helps to improve student reading and comprehension outcomes through enhancing literacy instruction. JSU’s Center for University-Based Development focuses on the redevelopment of a five-mile area around the campus. A living/learning urban studio, the center is an economic and human development initiative where students learn through partnerships and human development efforts involving staff, faculty fellow students, community residents, non-profit organizations, government agencies and businesses. Finally, the university’s Department of Technology helps dispose of computers and also trains students to refurbish computers, which are often returned to community organizations.
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 service.
The Corporation for National and Community Service 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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 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.
To view the complete list of recipients, visit www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll. To learn more about Jackson State University’s volunteer programs, call 601-979-1240.