Chestnut Hill College Named to 2008 Presidential Honor Roll for Community Service

Sunday, February 1, 2009

 PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Corporation for National and Community Service honored Chestnut Hill College with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

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.

Chestnut Hill College has been involved in many service learning initiatives as a member school of PHENND (Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development) and is in the process of incorporating service learning across all curriculums. Chestnut Hill College was chosen as one of eight schools in the area to receive support from the three-year Learn and Serve America" Grant to support service-learning initiatives on campus.

Currently, 10 percent of the undergraduate population at Chestnut Hill College is involved in a service learning course. The Heart of the City course is partnering with Roxborough High School helping high school seniors complete their Senior Project, and several sections of the Introduction to Liberal Arts course are partnering with St. Joseph's Villa to visit with retired Sisters and document histories of their lives. In addition, the Global Awareness Seminar is working with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger in the Food Stamp Enrollment Campaign, and the Entrepreneur course is partnering with the Impact Thrift Store to help them with a project on profitability. Writing and Rubrics, an education course at the College, is having students tutor children in local elementary schools. Chestnut Hill College is also sponsoring a service learning trip to Mexico over the summer, and an alternative spring break.

“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 Chestnut Hill 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.”


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.

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 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.