CSU, Chico News

CSU, Chico Once Again Receives National Honor for Civic Engagement

Date: 05-18-2011

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico has once again been designated as a member of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The 2010 honor roll, announced May 12 in Washington, D.C., highlights the University’s civic engagement activities during 2009.

The announcement marks the fourth time in five years CSU, Chico has been named to the honor roll, which is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

The honor roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. The 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.

Michael Briand, director of CSU, Chico’s Office of Civic Engagement, said the honor is important for two reasons. “First, it lets people in the North State know that Chico State is recognized nationally as a university whose faculty and students care about the communities where they live and therefore strive to combine their classroom work with off-campus learning experiences that benefit others,” he said. “Second, being named to the Honor Roll tells young people who might be considering Chico State for their college education that our university offers a unique approach to learning, one in which academic studies and participating in community life reinforce and enrich one another.”

In 2006, the year the community service honor roll program was launched, CSU, Chico was one of 10 schools to be a finalist for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Award. CSU, Chico also earned placement on the honor roll in 2007 and 2008.

"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 Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS. “Congratulations to these schools and their 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.”

Among the current civic engagement projects involving students on the CSU, Chico campus are the Town Hall meeting program, the Book in Common program, the Chico Great Debate series, Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE) and the Community Legal Information Center. Annually, about 3,000 CSU, Chico students average 60,000 volunteer hours through CAVE, which was founded in 1966.

In 2006, CSU, Chico was among the first group of U.S. colleges and universities to receive the new Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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.