The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its 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 for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms. Business students served as consultants to budget-strapped nonprofits and businesses, law students volunteered at legal clinics, and dozens of others organized anti-hunger campaigns.
“Congratulations to UMKC and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” 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. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”
The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that were recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection 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.
“With the many challenges facing our nation at this time, service has never been more important,” said Stancia Whitcomb-Jenkins, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Community and Public Affairs. “Service learning and community service provides our students with the opportunity to ‘give-back’ at a crucial time.”
UMKC was recognized for the following service projects
- Arrows – Achieving Recruitment, Retention and Outreach with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The project is sponsored by the School of Computer and Engineering, with a goal of increasing the number of students studying in STEM disciplines.
- Young Achievers – an academic achievement/career development initiative for high school teens of color and teens from disadvantaged histories. Its goal is to help teens pursue high educational and career goals, including graduation from high school and an institution of higher learning.
- Southwest Early College Campus – an open enrollment school with a math and science focus for grades 6-12, providing an early immersion college readiness experience. The School of Medicine’s Sojourner Health Clinic – a free clinic developed and managed by medical students, which provides outpatient care to homeless and underprivileged individuals.
- Institute for Leadership and Service – a division of the Student Life Office that provides opportunities for students to make contributions to the community. The Institute sponsored its first alternative Spring Break by helping to build homes in Laredo, Texas during their spring break.
- Saturday Academy – an enrichment program that enhances pre-college education for students, who belong to traditionally underrepresented groups in scientific careers. The program runs from October through May.
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. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.
The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.