Sorrento, La.– The Corporation for National and Community Service honored River Parishes Community College this week with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.
“We’re proud to be honored a second time in a row for this award,” said RPCC’s chancellor, Dr. Joe Ben Welch. “It goes to show our faculty and staff’s dedication and commitment to serve our communities.”
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.
RPCC has offered courses with service-learning components since the fall of 2004. One of the college’s most recent service-learning activities involved educating K-12 students from St. John the Baptist Parish and their families on the importance of emergency planning and preparedness. The 100 students of seven multidisciplined RPCC courses developed presentations and educational materials to teach 238 8-12th-grade students at West St. John High School about the importance of emergency planning and preparedness.
RPCC students also assembled emergency kits, which were distributed to the students. During the April 1, 2008, activity date, WSJH students listened to presentations, participated in discussions, watched and participated in skits, designed emergency plans for their families, and received emergency kits. WSJH students were given pre and post surveys on emergency planning and preparedness, which showed an overall improvement in test scores. WSJH students were encouraged to share the information with their families and neighbors to increase the emergency preparedness of the community.
“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges. We salute River Parishes Community College for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”
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. View the entire list at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.
The Honor Roll is a program of the corporation, 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,” said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad. “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.”
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. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by American'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.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations. For more information, go to www.nationalservice.gov.
River Parishes Community College in Sorrento, La., is an open-admission, two-year, postsecondary public institution dedicated to developing and assisting students in achieving personal, professional and academic success. A component of the Louisiana Community and Technical College system and its board of supervisors, RPCC serves the Louisiana river parishes by providing transferable courses and curricula through certificates and associate’s degrees. Please visit www.rpcc.edu or call (225) 675-8270 for more information.