Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Atlanta Christian College Named to Presidential Honor Roll For Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Atlanta Christian College today with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

“This award is very gratifying to our college community,” said Dean Collins, interim president, “because it indicates that our students are learning that with the privilege of education comes the responsibility of serving those in need.”

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.

Atlanta Christian College’s service to the community includes a large number of individual and small group projects, including internships in locations ranging from a local hospice to a village in Africa; volunteering at local nursing homes and Christian summer camps; and a campus-wide recycling effort led by student volunteers. The College also requires each student to complete a significant cross-cultural experience before graduation, which often includes a community service component.

Most notable, however, are the College’s semiannual ministry days. Each semester, a day is set aside for the entire campus community to serve others together. Classes are cancelled and offices are closed; faculty, staff and students spend the day working together on a variety of projects in partnership with inner-city Atlanta missions. In 2008, more than half the student body voluntarily attended each semester’s ministry day.

“Our ACC students are so open to being challenged to get involved in helping make their world a better place,” said Wye Huxford, vice president for student development and dean of the chapel. “I wish I had been that understanding of ‘ministry’ when I was their age.”

“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “We salute Atlanta Christian 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. A full list is available 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. 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,” said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.

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 America’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.
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