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Alvernia University receives national recognition for community service

Date: 5/16/2011

For the fifth year in a row, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has honored Alvernia University as a leader among institutions of higher education — with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

"As the class of 2011 crosses the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their community and their own lives through service to others, thanks to the leadership of these institutions," said Patrick A. Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of CNCS. “Congratulations to Alvernia and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities. We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”

Ginny Hand, director of the Holleran Center for Community Engagement said that Alvernia students are given many options for service-learning, including alternative break trips to poverty-stricken areas and opportunities to work with kids and partnering organizations including the South Reading Youth Initiative. “The university’s three Days of Service attract droves of students, faculty, and staff members who spread out into the local community to volunteer both time and effort. It’s impressive to see such a commitment to service in action.”

"Service to others is deeply embedded in Alvernia's Franciscan heritage and remains an important part of our educational mission today," said Alvernia President Thomas F. Flynn, Ph.D. "Our goal is to develop engaged citizens who are actively involved in work that betters our local communities and the world at large."

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. Last year alone, 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.

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 more information, go to www.nationalservice.gov.