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COC honored for commitment to service-learning

Posted: February 19, 2009 8:08 p.m.
Updated: February 19, 2009 5:09 p.m.
College of the Canyons has been named to the 2008 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in recognizing the college's wide-ranging community service-learning courses and programs available to students.

As one of the 635 higher education institutions recognized-- and one of only 39 in the state -- to receive the award, College of the Canyons created the service-learning program in order to integrate meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to teach civic responsibility, strengthen communities and enrich the learning experience of students.

"President Obama has issued a call for all Americans to help and serve in their communities," said Dr. Jennifer Hauss, director of the college's service-learning program. "College of the Canyons service-learning students have been doing this for years and as a result, their education, our community and our community-based organizations have been enhanced and enriched by their efforts. I applaud our students, our faculty and the non-profit organizations that work with us for participating and supporting our program."

Last semester, the college's service-learning projects included the participation of nearly 40 faculty members from various disciplines, 80 non-profit community-based organizations and more than 350 students. Projects included a collaboration among the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services Tutoring and Mentoring Project, in which COC students established a mentor relationship with children, ranging in age from seven to 17, in foster care. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley free, drive-thru flu clinic, in which nursing and EMT students gained valuable experience working with patients and dispensing flu vaccinations, was another successful service-learning project. The flu clinic was jointly sponsored by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the City of Santa Clarita, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and College of the Canyons.

"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 College of the Canyons for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others."

Launched in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually recognizes institutions of higher education that support innovative, effective and exemplary community service programs -- and is jointly sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, through its Learn and Serve America Program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, Campus Compact and the President's Council on Service and Civic participation.

Honor Roll selection criteria is based on a number of factors including the institution's scope, innovativeness and effectiveness of completed and ongoing service projects, the citing of community service and service-learning goals in the institution's strategic plan, the percentage of student enrollment engaged in community service activities and the institution's latest Federal Work-Study community service participation rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education.


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