Georgian Court Named to President’s Community Service Honor Roll
Lakewood, N.J., Mar. 23, 2012—The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education recently honored Georgian Court University and many other leading colleges and universities for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning. The university, based in Lakewood, was named to the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Students at Georgian Court’s Lakewood campus logged more than 3,400 hours in volunteer service last school year. Their service ranged from assisting families at area shelters for battered women and children to supporting anti-poverty campaigns and fund-raising efforts to fight cancer.
“At Georgian Court, service is one of the Mercy core values that guide everything we do,” said GCU President Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D. “In the classroom, in campus clubs and organizations, on the playing field, and even in their personal lives, GCU students understand how important it is to give back. It’s not just something they talk about in theory—it’s what they do.”
About 185 courses at Georgian Court incorporate service learning opportunities, giving faculty and students an opportunity to translate what is being taught in the classroom into civic engagement. For example, GCU dance students have taught creative movement to young adults who have autism, and Georgian Court student-athletes regularly raise money for charities like the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Other campus groups perform trail cleanups, assist with Habitat for Humanity, and collect school supplies for Catholic Charities.
According to Robert Velasco, acting CNCS CEO, institutions like GCU are “creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community.”
He also noted that when combined, service learning work increases civic engagement and fosters social innovation among students.
“The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service- earning on their campuses,” 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. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead.”
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 was inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Among those who volunteered were 20 students from Georgian Court who spent nearly two weeks in Biloxi, Mississippi, helping families rebuild after the storm.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, honored a total of 642 schools for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
On campuses across the country, millions of college students are engaged in innovative projects to meet local needs, often using the skills learned in classrooms. In 2010, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 312 million hours of service to communities across the country, service valued at more than $6.6 billion.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning opportunities. Last year, CNCS provided more than $200 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment.
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.
About Georgian Court University
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves more than 2,500 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.
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