Students’ community service recognized at UT Martin
Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 6:00 pm
The Messenger 03.28.12
Over the past year, numerous service-learning projects at the University of Tennessee at Martin gave students the opportunity to give back to their community while gaining valuable experience and perception.
Students acted as positive role models for children from low-income families through the Martin Housing Authority Health and Nutrition summer project. Public relations majors gained invaluable experience serving as publicists for local profit and non-profit businesses, and several areas in the community around the UT Martin campus were cleared of trash during the school’s second annual observance of Martin Luther King Day of Service.
The time spent volunteering added up, with 40,355 hours of service logged during fiscal year 2010-11.
A total of 614 UT Martin students were engaged in academic service-learning and 5,760 students were involved in other community service.
As a result, the university recently was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
“We are honored to be among those nationally recognized for community service,” UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes said. “Our faculty, students and staff recognize the importance and value of service learning and community focused learning.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized 642 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms.
Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope of 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.
“It’s always nice to be recognized like this, but the real rewards come from the benefits our partnerships provide to both the community and the students who participate,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jerald Ogg. “These win-win outcomes don’t happen, however, without a tremendous amount of work on the part of our outstanding faculty.”
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector. According to the annual CNCS Volunteering in America report, 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.
The CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.