The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education recently honored an elite group of colleges and universities for their commitment to bettering their communities through service and service learning.
Lourdes is among 642 institutions nationwide to be included in the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The Honor Roll selects institutions based on a series of factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. Lourdes was selected based on three of its many community service and service learning initiatives:
Community Focused Clinicals:
Lourdes' College of Nursing offers community focused clinicals, providing professional experience for nursing students in settings such as area homeless shelters, community centers for the mentally ill and subsidized housing facilities for those with disabilities. Nursing students using both traditional and non-traditional methods for serving these populations – for example, students encouraged clients with mental illness to share their life experiences by sewing, gardening and performing other crafts together. More than 198 Lourdes students have participated in these clinicals, serving over 350 individuals.
Habitat for Humanity Alternative Spring Break:
For 16 years, L.I.N.K. (Lourdes’ Campus Ministry student organization) has organized, recruited members and raised funds for an alternative spring break project with Habitat for Humanity. To date, Lourdes Habitat for Humanity team has assisted homeowners in 7 states and 15 cities – rehabbing houses, building homes and bringing the spirit of volunteerism and Franciscan values to those in need.
Jones Middle School Partnership:
A group of 29 Lourdes students tutored more than 160 students in Jones Middle School – an inner-city school located in Toledo. At Jones, only 33% of sixth graders meet minimum state acceptance rates in reading proficiency. As part of the partnership, Lourdes students worked with Jones students to improve their reading fluency and comprehension skills.
“This is a marvelous recognition of just some of the many service activities happening in and out of the classroom at Lourdes,” reflects Sister Ann Carmen Barone, OSF, Vice President for Mission & Ministry. “As Director of Campus Ministry & Service Learning, Sister Barbara Vano has worked tirelessly with Lourdes’ faculty and staff to shape and encourage the growth of these programs. We are extremely thankful for her and our entire Lourdes Community’s dedication to serving others.”
“Through service, these institutions are creating the next generation of leaders by challenging students to tackle tough issues and create positive impacts in the community,” said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of CNCS. “We applaud Lourdes University for its commitment to making service a priority in and out of the classroom.Together, service and learning increase civic engagement while fostering social innovation among students, empowering them to solve challenges within their communities.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) 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 Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.