Federal program recognizes PSU’s commitment to community
PSU STUDENT volunteers help construct a Habitat for Humanity home during Spring Break 2012. COURTESY
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth State University has been named one of the nation’s top schools for encouraging community service among its students.
PSU has been named to the President’s Honor Roll, through the federal Learn and Serve America program, which supports and encourages service learning throughout the United States.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.
Plymouth State President Sara Jayne Steen noted PSU has been named to the list for all seven years of the program.
“Our students live the Plymouth State motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve),” Steen said. “They both give and receive enormous benefit from this good work.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service chose 642 colleges and universities for the Honor Roll based on a series of 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 longterm campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. Among the many efforts PSU was recognized for are:
— The Educational Theater Cooperative joins the campus community with area teachers, school students, and community members in a month-long series of workshops and rehearsals culminating in a first-rate theatrical performance.
— The Center for Rural Partnerships sponsors student teams that consult on behalf of farmers, businesses, and community organizations. This effort adds to the region’s economic vitality.
— The Office of Research & Engagement strengthens partnerships with off-campus organizations and creates new opportunities for students to serve communities in New Hampshire.
“PSU continues to do great things in and around the community,” said Linda Corriveau, PSU’s Community Service Coordinator, who leads many of the service initiatives. “Our faculty, staff and students are engaged with community organizations on so many levels, and volunteerism is at the heart of it.”
Plymouth State students also donate hundreds of thousands of hours on projects such as mentoring area youth, staffing blood drives, cleaning up trails, and leading environmental projects.
“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. “The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of servicelearning 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 2013 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education’s Annual Meeting Leading Change on March 4, in Washington D.C. For a full list of recipients, visit NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.