Wayne State Receives National Recognition for Service-Learning Initiatives
Published: 5-27-2011 9:20 am
Wayne State is pleased to announce that the
Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored the
college as a leader among institutions of higher education for its
support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. Wayne
State 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.
has a 12-year history at Wayne State. Dr. Jean Karlen, professor of
sociology, and former WSC President Sheila Stearns initiated the
Service-Learning program at the college in 1999. Karlen helped to form
the Nebraska Consortium in 2000-2001 which later grew into the Midwest
Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education (MCSLHE) with 28
members from three states.
In the first academic year of the
program, Wayne State had eight faculty members participating; the
college now has an average of 22 per semester. Since 2005, Wayne State
has averaged 500 students participating and 20 completed projects per
year. To date, 96 WSC faculty members have participated at one time or
another in Service-Learning and one-fourth of the student organizations
and clubs regularly participate. This year, 996 WSC students completed
11,603 hours of service work.
Wayne State has been in the top
five higher education institutions in the state for Learn in Serve
participation since 2005, usually coming in at third or fourth. This is
the first time the college applied for the President's Honor Roll
because until August 2010, the college did not have a full-time
Service-Learning coordinator, which is a requirement for the award.
State professors like Pearl Hansen in art, Jason Karsky in criminal
justice, Barbara Engebretsen in Health, Human Performance and Sport,
Marilyn Mudge and Pam Langlie in education and the community partners
they work with are the reason why we have such a successful
Service-Learning program," said Lisa Nelson, coordinator of the program.
"In many ways, people like me and advisory committee members are the
heart of the program, but the faculty and students completing the work
are the soul of the program."
"Pearl, Jason and Barbara raised
awareness and funds for a particular population while greatly enhancing
their students' understanding of the course curriculum. Pearl worked
with the Wayne Veterans, Jason with law enforcement and emergency
responders and Barbara with campus and community agencies to provide
funds and items to Haiti," Nelson said. "Marilyn and Pam also enhanced
learning potentials but they also committed to long-standing
relationships that affected change. The teachers at the schools they
worked with did not have the resources to provide assessments and
programming that their students very much needed. Marilyn has worked
with the Wakefield school system for a decade providing assessments in
literacy and math skills, which saved the school time and financial
obligations. That is the kind of commitment that makes it possible to
receive an award. The award is given to the institution but it is the
people doing the work that earned the award."
for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor
Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for
their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to
supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor
Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11
were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.
Wayne State was one of only eight schools honored in the state of
"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 Wayne
State 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
The Wayne State College Service-Learning
program promotes, mobilizes, and supports the efforts of our
institution, united in strengthening our academic and co-curricular
programs through service-learning in our communities, state and nation.
Service-learning also plays an important role in engaging and retaining
Wayne State students.
A total of 851 institutions applied for the
2010 Honor Roll, a nine percent increase over last year, a sign of the
growing interest by colleges and universities in highlighting their
efforts to engage students in making a difference in the community.
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. Business and law
students offer tax preparation and legal services, and college student
volunteers provide meals, create parks, rebuild homes after disasters,
conduct job training, run senior service programs, and much more.
Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with
the nation's colleges and universities in supporting community service
and service-learning. Last year, CNCS provided more than $215 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 is a catalyst for
service-learning programs nationwide that connect community service with
academic curricula. Through these programs, in classes, and in
extracurricular activities, college students serve their communities
while strengthening their academic and civic skills.
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. For a full list of recipients and descriptions of their
service, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.
Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal
agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through
its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and
leads President Barack Obama's national call to service initiative,
United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.