City gets federal honors

On Feb. 25, City College was named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a federal recognition given to colleges and universities for their commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual honor roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities around the country for their involvement in issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

Honorees are chosen based on factors including the 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.

Among other San Diego educational institutions and 32 overall in California, City is the only community college in the area to receive the recognition.

“With nearly 1,000 students providing 30,000 service hours in a year, I could not be more proud of City College and its commitment to the community,” Dr. Terrence Burgess, president of City College, said.

Twenty nine faculty members across 16 disciplines worked with 60 community partners to provide the 30,000 service hours, according to Francisco Moreno, City’s Service Learning Program coordinator.

“After completing service learning, many of my students, some of whom who dreaded the program, have said that they finally felt like they did something with their lives,” Moreno said last fall. “With service learning, everyone benefits.”

“If we don’t make a difference, there’s no purpose in our lives. Service learning makes that difference,” he added.

The projects included biology, graphic design, art, dance, Chicano studies and math students working with Seeds at City, the Campus’ Organic Garden, geography students working on earthquake disaster preparedness, health students working with an HIV Clinic and Price Scholarship students working with middle and elementary schools to provide after school programs.

“Congratulations to San Diego City College and its students,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face.”

In a recent San Diego Community College District board of trustees meeting in which Moreno present the service learning program, Chancellor Constance Carroll said, “I wish President Obama was here to listen. This is the dream of national service coming through; I am not surprised it’s happening here at City. It is the heart of democracy that we all help each other out.”
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the corporation.

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City gets federal honors