Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Whitworth recognized among top schools in the U.S. for its commitment to community service

Whitworth University has again been placed on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The Community Service Honor Roll, which was launched in 2006, is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on factors such as scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Whitworth, which also was named to the 2008 Community Service Honor Roll, was selected for inclusion on the 2010 Honor Roll based on initiatives such as its annual Community Building Day project, its Center for Conflict Transformation, its Food for Thought dinner program for the homeless, its Students4Giving philanthropic education program, and its West Central Neighborhood Partnership.

More than 90 percent of the Whitworth student body engages in community service, with service-learning opportunities incorporated into every academic department. During the 2009-10 school year, 2,000 students contributed a total of 40,000 hours of service to the Spokane community, with an estimated economic impact of $810,000. Students address issues such as poverty abatement, domestic violence, education, food insecurity, community development, environmental restoration, healthcare, eldercare, at-risk youth development, multicultural/diversity issues, philanthropy, and refugee/immigrant resettlement. Also during 2009-10, more than 75 Whitworth faculty members provided service to Spokane through community and religious organizations, and more than 40 faculty were involved in service to their students outside the classroom, acting as mentors, club advisors, research sponsors and internship supervisors.

"Whitworth's inclusion in the Presidential Honor Roll is a manifestation of our commitment to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity," says Rhosetta Rhodes, director of service-learning and community engagement at Whitworth. "It's also indicative of the dedication of our students and faculty, and the internalization of our belief in authentic partnership with our community."

Patrick A. Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll, says, "Congratulations to Whitworth University 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." Corvington adds, "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."

A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll. A full list of recognized institutions is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Honor Roll is a program of the corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

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 2009, 3.2 million college students dedicated more than 307 million hours of service to communities across the country: service valued at more than $6.4 billion, the corporation says.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, please visit www.nationalservice.gov.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Contacts:

Rhosetta Rhodes, director, Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4238 or rrhodes99@whitworth.edu.

Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or eproffitt@whitworth.edu.