Major Honors for Community Service Learning

February 9, 2015

Community Service Learning has a broad scope of programs.

The University of Redlands has been honored as a leader among institutions of higher education for its support of volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement with two significant recognitions.

Of the 766 schools and universities included on this year's President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, Redlands is among 120 institutions named to the Honor Roll with Distinction, and one of few institutions in the nation named "with Distinction" each year since the award's inception. This year's distinction is general community service.

Additionally, the University is among only 157 institutions again recognized with the Carnegie classification-for the partnership of the University and its community "to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good."

"The University of Redlands has made it a priority to engage students in off-campus experiences," said Tony Mueller, director of Community Service Learning. "The Honor Roll with Distinction and the Carnegie classification both acknowledge that we are doing service in meaningful ways. From our outreach with Jasper's Corner Homework Clubs and CHAMPS (College and High-School Alliance Mentoring Program and Service), our relationships through the University's Community Service Activity and our work-study programs with K-12 and afterschool partnerships, service is an integral part of the undergraduate experience. It's not just a sound bite, but the reality of our journey at the University. From the administration to the faculty and students, it's built into the culture."

The impact of service creates a big impact in the University's neighboring communities. The courses under Community Service Activity served an estimated 25,000 individuals, built two houses, served 10,000 meals, 560 hours of job training and support, tutored/mentored 7,450 students, assisted 250 students in undertaking service learning, read 1,000 books, coached 300 children and maintained several community gardens. When compared to last year, the most notable improvement of hours logged came from the categories of estimated number of individuals served, which grew from 16,200 to 25,000 and students tutored/mentored which grew from 2,400 to 7,450.

"The recognition honors our programs and work," said Erin Sanborn, associate director of Community Service Learning, "most importantly it honors the work our students, faculty and community partners do on daily basis. We have a very compassionate student body, campus community and community at large-all who don't serve for the recognition. To credit their work with national recognition, though, is a wonderful thing."