NWC honored for community service

The Corporation for National and Community Service has named Northwestern College to the 2007 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The list includes 528 colleges and universities. Northwestern, which was honored for the second consecutive year, is among only 10 chosen from Iowa.

“Northwestern has a strong commitment to supporting a number of innovative and effective community service and service-learning initiatives, and this selection recognizes those efforts,” says Marlon Haverdink, Northwestern’s director of service learning. “This recognition validates what those of us who have the privilege of working with Northwestern students see every day: Our students care deeply about their neighbors and their communities. When needs arise in the community, our students rise to the occasion and use their creativity, passion and knowledge to address those needs.”

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 innovativeness 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.

Last year, more than 630 Northwestern students were engaged in forms of community service, such as ministering to the local Hispanic community, working at area soup kitchens and homeless shelters, tutoring schoolchildren, visiting prisoners, and serving around the country and world during spring and summer breaks. In addition, another 200 students were involved in academic service-learning, putting classroom knowledge into practice by helping area agencies and businesses. All told, Northwestern estimates its students engaged in more than 9,000 hours of service in 2006–07.

“I’m amazed at our students’ high level of motivation and commitment to service,” says Haverdink. “They become involved because their faith compels them to care for their neighbors in real, tangible ways.”

 “College students are tackling the toughest problems in America, demonstrating their compassion, commitment and creativity by serving as mentors, tutors, health workers and even engineers,” says David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). “They represent a renewed spirit of civic engagement fostered by outstanding leadership on caring campuses.”

The Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by CNCS, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. More information is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that seeks to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. The organization 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.