Priority 2.1

Provide and improve access to rich and holistic academic and student development programs that foster intellectual and social growth and prepare students to be productive citizens of the world.

Community Service Center Expanded Work Leads to Awards

PSU students volunteer at numerous local organizations, such as the Pemi Youth Center.

PSU students volunteer at numerous local organizations, such as the Pemi Youth Center.

Our motto, Ut prosim (That I may serve), permeates the entire Student Affairs Division, and is embodied in the Community Service Center housed in the Student Union/Activities department. The Learn and Serve America program honored Plymouth State University with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll “With Distinction” for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. PSU is one of only 83 schools nationwide to achieve this level of recognition in 2008. The “With Distinction” honors were for PSU’s commitment to helping youth from disadvantaged circumstances through the service program College for Every Student, which is designed to lower school dropout rates and prepare students for college.

The Community Service Center provides leadership for a host of service initiatives, promoting volunteerism and service learning in the greater Plymouth community. Projects include Alternative Spring Break, an annual international service trip, Community Service Orientation, and other community-based volunteer and federal work-study opportunities. Every year hundreds of PSU students commit thousands of volunteer hours to community service—not to be recognized for these efforts, but because giving back to the community is something they care about. It’s part of the Plymouth State culture.

Peers Empowering & Educating Plymouth State

PEEPS (Peers Empowering & Educating Plymouth State) is a group of Plymouth State students providing educational programming for all students at PSU. Programs focus on the seven dimensions of wellness: occupational, sexual, spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental health. The group recently received BACCHUS (Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students) Certified Peer Educator Training as it prepares to take the program to the next level. PEEPS is reaching out to our local Teen Center as well and serving as mentors to a high school peer education team called “Chain Reaction,” using leadership and training to develop systemic community solutions.

Service Learning Task Force

Students engage in service activities that reinforce classroom learning.

Students engage in service activities that reinforce classroom learning.

In 2009, a Service Learning Task Force was appointed and charged with examining best practices at institutions that are most renowned for their service learning initiatives. The task force will investigate innovative approaches those schools are taking and the institutional structures that are in place to support service learning.

Task force members will determine approaches and structures that would work best at PSU. They will establish and communicate a taxonomy of service learning opportunities at Plymouth State; develop a repository of service learning approaches, assignments, contracts, contacts, and artifacts specific to Plymouth State; establish a mechanism for ongoing service learning needs assessment; establish a mechanism for assessing whether service learning projects are high-quality and worthwhile; establish a mechanism for educating the community about PSU’s service learning resources, processes, and logistics; seek consultation with experts from organizations like Campus Compact; investigate liabilities associated with service learning; and investigate cross-discipline approaches to service learning.

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