Illinois College is the only institution in the state outside of the Chicago area to have earned a place on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its strong commitment to community service for seven consecutive years. The college has achieved this recognition each year since the Honor Roll was launched in 2006.
In releasing an in-depth report of community service programs at college and university campuses nationwide, the Corporation for National and Community Service praised Illinois College for achieving Honor Roll status.
Illinois College President Axel Steuer said “Illinois College is honored to accept this award on behalf of our students, who conducted 114 extracurricular service projects in conjunction with 73 community organizations and schools. Our students are helping meet important needs in our community and abroad, while building their own leadership skills.”
Illinois College reported that 533 students engaged in academic service learning courses during the 2011-2012 academic year. Overall, Illinois College students completed 37,708 service hours, including 236 students who engaged in at least 20 hours of community service per semester.
Steuer noted that he is very pleased that Illinois College students’ leadership and service has been recognized in every year since the inception of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. “I will always be proud of what our students have accomplished.” The Honor Roll serves as the highest form of federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
According to Leadership Program Director Karen Dean, one of the projects that helped the College achieve Honor Roll status is the Sonya Project, a literacy initiative in two District 117 elementary schools. Each college student in the program is matched with a child in grades 2-5. The children read books with their college reading partner each week. Dean says the results have been impressive. “Participants’ average reading score on the standardized test increased by 21.3 points. In addition, the children have gained important relationships with college students who can continue to serve as mentors and role models.”