Camarillo, Calif., April 2, 2013 – For the fourth consecutive year, CSU Channel Islands (CI) has earned a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The recognition is the highest national honor a university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The Honor Roll is compiled annually by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal government agency that encourages volunteerism and public service, in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. CI was one of 690 institutions earning the Honor Roll distinction in 2013.
“We’re pleased to have the community service efforts of our students, staff, faculty and administrators recognized in such a meaningful way,” said President Richard R. Rush. “One of the most important things we can do as a university is educate students to understand that the best leaders are those who serve others.”
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.
Service-learning and community engagement are cornerstones of the curriculum and student life at CI. During the 2011-2012 academic year, more than 1,900 CI students participated in over 24,000 hours of community service. The University offered 40 courses that engaged nearly 1,300 students in service-learning, while contributing an estimated economic benefit of $580,000 to Ventura County.
The service projects engaged students in areas ranging from art to watershed protection and in locations ranging from the CI campus and Ventura County to Louisiana and Japan. Examples of some of their efforts included:
- 2012 Relay for Life, in which students, staff and faculty raised more than $50,000 for the American Cancer Society.
- Water & Conflict in the West, an interdisciplinary, service-learning course in which students collected, analyzed and interpreted water quality data and mentored middle school students in the process, working with Ventura Coast Keeper, Calleguas Water District, and United Water Conservancy District.
- A student-led report on the status of girls and women in Ventura County for the Ventura County Commission for Women that helped the group secure $20,000 in grant funding.
- HSI-STEM Summer Institute, which provides hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and math for underrepresented minorities from Oxnard College.
- Tutoring and classroom support for elementary school students in the Oceanview School District, involving 800 elementary school children and 80 university students in the course EDUC 101.
- Assisting Japanese oyster farmers devastated by the 2011 earthquakes and tsunami to rebuild in the course UNIV 392: Science and Technology in Japan.
- ESRM 492: Service Learning in New Orleans, in which students work on restoration projects and assess the long-term ecological impacts of Hurricane Katrina and BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
- The 2012 Science Carnival, which exposed more than 1,600 children and their families to the fun of science through hands-on experiments.
“The rewards of service-learning are monumental for both the students and the community,” said Dennis Downey, Associate Professor of Sociology and Faculty Director for CI’s Center for Community Engagement. “First, our students get a much deeper learning experience that can’t be duplicated in the classroom or in textbooks. Second, they develop a level of commitment to our community partners that motivates them to put more time and energy into the project to ensure its success. Third, and perhaps most importantly, they develop a lifelong passion for community service.”
“This honor reflects the efforts of our entire campus and community partners to educate students who are citizen-scholars and leaders in their communities,” said Pilar Pacheco, Associate Director of CI’s Center for Community Engagement.
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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.