Alvernia University has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, with Distinction, by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education. The national award recognizes a commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning. Alvernia was one of only eight Pennsylvania schools to receive the 'Distinction' honor.
“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.”
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. The initiative celebrates the transformative power and volunteer spirit that exists within the higher education community.
Established in 2006, Alvernia’s Holleran Center for Community Engagement identifies, cultivates and sustains strategic partnerships to strengthen both campus and community life. By making these community partnerships an essential part of the curriculum, the Holleran Center strives to improve the quality of life in the community and to develop students into engaged citizens with a lifelong commitment to service.
"This award not only acknowledges the very high quality of our Service Learning Courses and special initiatives like Alvernia READS and the South Reading Youth Initiative, but also the work done by Alvernia University students, faculty and staff in service to our community," said Jay Worrall, director of the Holleran Center. "We at the Holleran Center could not be more pleased that Alvernia should receive such a high honor, which speaks so clearly to this University's commitment to service and community engagement."
“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. “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.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. It 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.