Washington, D.C., April 9, 2012 – – The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education today honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, students, and faculty members, and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning.
For the third consecutive year, Galen College of Nursing was admitted to the Honor Roll for its work with several agencies that children, families and others in the communities where Galen students and faculty live and work.
“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of CNCS. “We applaud the Honor Roll schools, their faculty and students for their commitment to make service a priority in and out of the classroom. Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”
“Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,” said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education. “The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses. Galvanizing their students to become involved in projects that address pressing concerns and enrich their academic experience has a lasting impact – both in the communities in which they work and on their own sense of purpose as citizens of the world. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead.”
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community.
As one of the nation’s largest educators of practical and registered nurses, Galen College of Nursing educates students at its main campus in Louisville, Ky., and three branch campuses located in San Antonio, Texas, Tampa Bay, Fla., and Cincinnati, Ohio. On all campuses, Galen embraces a culture of community and service.
“We feel it is our responsibility to educate health care professionals with the express purpose of creating positive change in the communities they serve,” said Mark Vogt, President of Galen College of Nursing. “Galen encourages students, faculty and staff to continuously evolve as responsible citizens who demonstrate a spirit of generosity by providing and supporting service-oriented opportunities.” In developing the college’s strategic plan, Galen created a Service goal of more than 2,000 hours of institutional involvement in community service projects. Students and faculty significantly beat this goal when they logged more than 11,000 volunteer and service-oriented hours. In addition to funds raised by students, staff and faculty, Galen annually donates nearly $100,000 to nonprofit organizations.
“While Galen is focused on education and health care, our reach into the communities we serve goes far beyond nursing,” said Vogt. “We are committed to maintaining a positive presence in our communities and serving in any way that is needed. Each campus works with organizations that are important in their community.”
Standing opportunities include involvement with:
- JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)
- Supplies Overseas, which sends medical supplies to developing countries.
- Habitat for Humanity
- Prevent Blindness Texas
- Toy drives for a number of children’s charities
- Support of military families
- Center for Women and Families (Louisville)
- PassPort Healthplans’ Healthy Hoops Kick-Off (Louisville)
- Gilda’s Club (Louisville)
- Public health fairs
- Light the Night for Leukemia and Lymphoma
- Blood drives
- Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
- Special Olympics Polar Plunge
“Through organizational and student involvement, service has become a part of Galen’s culture, ultimately helping to shape better communities,” said Vogt.
On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2010, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.6 billion. Business and law students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters, conduct job training, run senior service programs, and much more.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, CNCS provided more than $200 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.
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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.