Cal Poly Pomona has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual award, recognized colleges and universities for their impact on issues such as poverty, homelessness and environmental justice.
At Cal Poly Pomona, the Center for Community Service-Learning coordinates a number of on-going volunteer activities, such as the Homework Help Center at the Pomona Public Library, the Youth Storytelling Mentorship Program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Pomona Valley and JusticeCorps internships at self-help legal access centers. The annual volunteer fair last spring drew 42 community organizations and 350 students.
In 2008-09, the university offered 66 sections that emphasized service-learning, and 1,367 enrolled students volunteered more than 18,000 hours to the community.
“Even during these tough budget times, the mission of service is still at the forefront of our university,” says Christina Gonzalez-Salgado, civic engagement coordinator. “This distinguished recognition is truly a testament to the faculty, staff and students at Cal Poly Pomona who remain committed to being civically engaged and developing meaningful partnerships with our communities.”
Last year, the center awarded seven mini-grants totaling $2,500 to faculty members. Funded by the CSU Chancellor’s Office of Community Engagement, the awards allowed faculty to further their research in service-learning, develop curriculum, implement community projects or travel to present at a conference on service-learning. In addition, seven faculty members attended a five-session reading group in fall 2008 about social justice learning and discussed their existing and potential service-learning courses. They each received a $1,000 stipend for professional development.
Honor Roll recipients are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the 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. Visit www.learnandserve.gov/about/programs/higher_ed_honorroll.asp for a full list of honorees.
College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.
The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.