Washington, D.C. – As colleges across the country honor their graduates this commencement season, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Illinois College as a leader among institutions of higher education for its support of community service, service-learning and civic engagement. Illinois College was admitted to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community. Illinois College has been recognized on this honor roll every year since 2006, the only downstate college in Illinois to be recognized as many times by CNCS.
“As members of the class of 2011 cross the stage to pick up their diplomas, more and more will be going into the world with a commitment to public service and the knowledge that they can make a difference in their communities 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 Illinois College 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.”
Illinois College reported that nearly all of the student body, almost 900 students, engaged in community service during the 2009-2010 academic year. A total of 585 students engaged in academic service-learning, while an additional 309 students engaged in community service outside of service-learning courses. One hundred sixty of these students engaged in at least 20 hours of community service per semester. An impressive 42,652 community service hours were logged by Illinois College students in 2009-2010.
The college’s Office of Community Engagement and Service Learning helps students coordinate with community agencies to schedule and staff a broad range of service projects. Sixty student organizations conducted 150 extracurricular service projects, such as an Up ’Til Dawn event that raised nearly $23,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital; students provided 27,674 education service hours as AmeriCorps volunteers, student teachers, tutors, aides and camp counselors, benefiting hundreds of children in K-12 schools, after-school programs, summer camps and Boys and Girls Clubs; a group of students and staff spent their break helping to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Arkansas; and 2010 senior Kaitlin Salisbury led a large number of fellow students in her capstone project, “11 Days of Activism,” which raised $2,660 to prevent sexual assault.
“Illinois College is committed to the proposition that true leadership finds expression in service to others,” explained Illinois College President Axel D. Steuer. “We are pleased by this national recognition for activities and programs that lie at the heart of the college’s educational mission of preparing students for fulfilling lives of leadership and service.”
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.