GVSU honored for community service programs

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Grand Valley has been named to the 2008 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll 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 a series of selection factors including 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.

The Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The award were announced February 9, at the 91st annual meeting of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.

"At Grand Valley, faculty and students understand that service-learning forms an important bridge between theory and practice, and that building strong communities is a shared responsibility. I'm proud that Grand Valley's commitment to sharing our collective time and talents with the community has been recognized nationally with our inclusion on the Community Service Honor Roll," said President Thomas J. Haas.

The Honor Roll is sponsored by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.

"In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges," said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll.

Overall, the Corporation honored six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll With Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members.  In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation's Volunteering in America 2007 study.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, 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.

"I offer heartfelt congratulations to those institutions named to the 2008 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. College and university students across the country are making a difference in the lives of others every day - as are the institutions that encourage their students to serve others," said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.

Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America's college students. The corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

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