University of Portland has been named to the 2011 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced Monday. The University is one of two Oregon colleges and four in the Northwest that made the Honor Roll with Distinction list, joining Willamette University, Western Washington University and Seattle University, a Presidential Awardee.
A total of 3,400 University of Portland students participated in some type of service in the 2010-11 academic year, with more than 800 students serving at least 20 hours per semester. The total number of service hours by students in 2010-11 was approximately 163,891 (equivalent to 6,829 days, or 18 years and 8 months).
This marks the fifth time the University has made the Honor Roll since its inception in 2006, and the first time it has made the Honor Roll with Distinction list.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually recognizes institutions of higher education for their commitment to and achievement in community service. The President’s Honor Roll increases the public’s awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole.
This year, the University’s application highlighted its diverse partnership with Roosevelt High School, the School of Nursing’s community health rotation curriculum and the annual literacy fair sponsored by the School of Education’s honor society Kappa Delta Phi.
University students, faculty, and staff annually participate in community service projects – primarily through the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership – such as tutoring in local schools, supporting services for people who are homeless, contributing to community gardens, planting trees, encouraging people with disabilities, and building homes with and for low-income families. Service-learning programs are also a vital part of the Moreau Center, including social justice immersions that focus on urban policy, food justice, border and immigration issues, migrant farm workers, Native Americans, and civil rights, as well as global service learning programs in Africa and Central America. The Moreau Center is named after the founder of the Congegation of Holy Cross, Blessed Basil Moreau. UP is one of four Holy Cross, United States Province institutions.
The University also sponsors an annual event in the fall called “Building Community: Serving to Learn” as part of its new student orientation program, featuring a half day of service in the Portland community for all first-year UP students. The event concludes with reflection on the meaning of their experiences and the importance of the University’s central tenets of teaching and learning, faith and formation, and service and leadership.
The Corporation for National and Community Service announces the annual Honor Roll award recipients, recognizing more than 600 colleges and universities for exemplary, innovative, and effective community service programs. The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.
Honorees are 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.