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Alvernia University honored for community service

Date: 3/19/2012

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. 



 
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  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.