GENESEO, N.Y. - - The State University of New York at Geneseo has been named to President Obama's 2012 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, a national recognition of a college or university for bettering communities through community service and service-learning.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers the annual Honor Roll Awards, and the U.S. Department of Education recognized 642 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Geneseo is among 114 colleges across the nation named this year to the Honor Roll with Distinction - three are SUNY schools -- and it's the third year that Geneseo has received the distinction designation. The college has been on the honor roll every year since the program was launched in 2006.
"I commend our students, faculty and staff for their commitment to community service and service-learning," said Christopher C. Dahl, president of SUNY Geneseo. "Our campus is engaged every day in the lives of others through service at the local, national and international levels. This involvement is an important component of a meaningful liberal arts education."
The organization chooses honorees based on scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in 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.
In 2010-11, 4,076 Geneseo students engaged in general community service and academic service-learning for 85,323 total hours.
"Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap," said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education's assistant secretary for postsecondary education, who recognized the colleges and universities at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education in Los Angeles."The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses. 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 organization recognized Geneseo specifically for five community service or service-learning projects in 2010-11:
• The college's ongoing commitment to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts through the Livingston CARES Program. During the 2010-11 academic year, 83 students, faculty and community volunteers participated in four trips to Mississippi during winter, spring and summer breaks to assist in the reconstruction of more than 60 homes in Mississippi.
• Mt. Morris, N.Y., Main Street Revitalization. Students partnered with government officials, developers, residents and entrepreneurs to rescue a declining Main Street in the Village of Mount Morris, N.Y.
• The El Sauce, Nicaragua, Service Learning Project. SUNY Geneseo has run a service-learning program in El Sauce, Nicaragua, since 2006. Students conduct service projects in El Sauce during the summer, the January inter-session, or spring break. El Sauce is a small community of 10,000 people north of Managua in the remote countryside. More than 60 students have traveled to El Sauce and worked in partnership with the residents on a number of service projects focused on sustainable business development, teaching English, personal finance and computer skills, as well as health education, recreation programs and building homes.
• Xerox Center for Multicultural Teacher Education Saturday School Project. The Xerox Center for Multicultural Education is a partnership between the SUNY Geneseo School of Education and Xerox Corp. The Saturday School Program in downtown Rochester provides academic follow-up for a group of Rochester City Schools students with culturally diverse backgrounds. During 2010-11, 35 Geneseo student volunteers and faculty and staff traveled to Rochester on 19 Saturday mornings to learn about students from culturally diverse backgrounds as well as to teach students by tutoring, mentoring and working on service-learning projects.
• L.I.V.E.S. Program (Learning Independence, Vocation and Education Skills). The program is a four-year post-secondary experience for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Students aren't admitted to Geneseo but to the Geneseo L.I.V.E.S. Program, where they learn skills to be productive members of their communities.
• Rochester Young Scholars Academy at Geneseo. Each year, SUNY Geneseo, with support from the Rochester City School District (RCSD) and the Xerox Foundation, provides a two-week, residential camp for approximately 60 inner- city students in the 7th through 10th grades. Focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and activities, camp themes have included CSI, archeology, peace, and environmentalism.
CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
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