University Named to President's Community Service Honor Roll

Pacific University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the third consecutive year.

The honor roll is part of the Corporation for National & Community Service's strategic commitment to engage millions of college students in service, and celebrate the critical role of higher education in strengthening communities.

It recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes for their communities.

Pacific is just one of nine colleges or universities in Oregon, and 662 junior or senior colleges nationally, to be named to the honor roll.

The program places a strong emphasis on long-term institutional support of community service, with special consideration of how service results in measurable improvement in a community.

The CNCS considers all aspects of a college or university's community service efforts, including course work, student-led co-curricular activities and staff initiatives.

During the 2011-12 academic year, 1,268 Pacific students engaged in academic service learning, and an additional 621 students engaged in a variety of community service activities, resulting in a total of 346,017 community service hours.

Pacific University's strong commitment to service is rooted in the university’s founding purpose to serve orphans from the Oregon Trail and Native American children.

The university requires all College of Arts & Sciences undergraduate students to perform 40 hours of community engagement.

Service also flourishes in the graduate professional programs.

Through mobile wellness clinics, College of Optometry and College of Health Professions students provided care to 3,346 individuals, a two percent increase from 2010-11. Those served include migrant workers at local wineries and farms, with services provided to them exceeding $223,000.

The College of Education contributed over 143,000 hours of educational service to children in local high-needs schools.

Pacific's community service efforts are largely coordinated or supported by its Center for Civic Engagement. The center helps connects students, faculty and staff with community partners to serve the common good, revitalize communities and facilitate learning within a community context.

The center exists to help instill in students the value of lifelong active citizenship, a sense of empowerment, development of critical thinking skills and the capacity to reflect on one’s own set of values.

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.

Monday, March 25, 2013