University named to President’s Community Service Honor Roll for fifth consecutive year
KANSAS CITY, MO — Reflective of its longstanding commitment to service learning and community outreach, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the fifth consecutive year. The distinction is awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.
“This recognition speaks directly to UMKC’s mission as an urban-serving university,” said UMKC Chancellor Leo E. Morton. “It is a testament to the faculty, staff and students at UMKC, who devote tens of thousands of hours annually to community service, much of which is focused on underserved populations and the needs of disadvantaged youth.”
UMKC’s community service has historic roots — founded in 1933 by civic leaders, the university was created to be a community resource. Today, UMKC engages in more than 400 examples of service activities campus wide. To be responsive to community needs, UMKC has created a variety of committees, advisory bodies and task forces, partnered with community organizations and institutions, and formalized agreements to enhance the university’s capacity to reach the community and share resources.
UMKC’s commitment to service includes a service-learning management system and service-learning courses. Serve2Learn, a web-based project management system that supports service learning, allows community organizations to communicate opportunities for service. Academic programs like the UMKC Urban Studies program integrate service learning into the curriculum by requiring majors to complete internships with community and nonprofit organizations.
The UMKC Office of Student Involvement provides opportunities for students to contribute to the community while building their academic and civic skills and encouraging service learning. Integrating theory and practice, more than 1,600 students participate in the program, generating 9,000 hours of community service.
UMKC has been named among the top 25 “best neighbor” institutions for its community partnerships by the New England Board of Higher Ed. The School of Law and the Bloch School of Management are consistently recognized as strong community partners and UMKC’s Health Sciences schools help meet public health needs through a variety of volunteer efforts. With services offered at the School of Dentistry and in outreach clinics, for example, UMKC is the largest provider of dental services to underserved people in the metropolitan area and region.
Among the programs and community service initiatives cited in UMKC’s Presidential Honor Roll recognition are:
Institute for Urban Education
The Institute for Urban Engagement (IUE) at the School of Education are examples of UMKC’s mission of engagement and collaboration in urban issues and education. The first program of its kind in the nation, IUE was established to prepare teachers for success in urban classrooms. Over the course of the program, each student in the IUE program contributes approximately 1,400 hours of community service.
Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Keeping with the school’s tradition of civic engagement, the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management serves the nonprofit and civic community through the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership. The Center works with government agencies, schools and community partners to provide workshops, presentations and programs focused on nonprofit and public service effectiveness and leadership. Created in 1991, the Center has served over 40,000 current and emerging leaders, including members of nearly 1,000 different nonprofit and government boards; delivered more than 450 public workshops and programs and worked with over 500 nonprofit and government organizations and associations.
UMKC Health Sciences Wellness Fair
The Health Sciences Wellness Fair was launched in 2009 and is held each spring on the UMKC Health Sciences Campus at Hospital Hill. Sponsored by the UMKC Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy, the Wellness Fair offers a variety of services, including free exams, screenings and education on vital health topics to underserved patients of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. More than 400 student, faculty and community volunteers combine to contribute an estimated 4,500 hours of direct patient care over the course of the Wellness Fair.
Sojourner Health Clinic
Founded by UMKC students and operated by the School of Medicine, the Sojourner Clinic provides free health care to Kansas City’s homeless and underprivileged population. Under faculty supervision, students staff the clinic each Sunday year round except holidays. The Sojourner offers a variety of services, including blood pressure monitoring, blood sugar testing, a dispensary for medications and an on-site physician for patient exams and consultations. To date, the clinic has served more than 1,000 patients and filled over 2,400 prescriptions.
“Congratulations to UMKC and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick A. Corvington, Chief Executive Officer of CNCS. “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”
About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 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. For more information about UMKC, visit www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.