Elizabethtown College earned a place on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction at the end of 2014 for its commitment to serving the local community.
This is the ninth consecutive year the College has been named to the list. It has been included every year since the inception of the honor roll, earning the title of Distinction the past two years — one of only 11 institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania to do so in 2014.
A place on the President’s Community Service Honor Roll is the highest honor a college or university can receive for civic engagement, as it highlights an institution’s commitment to volunteering and service learning.
The Honor Roll recognizes outstanding community service programs and effective community partnerships. Membership to this honor roll highlights Etown’s dedication to acknowledging and solving community problems in a measurable way.
Receiving the additional honor of Distinction means Etown displays strong levels of institutional commitment, provided a compelling case for partnerships that produce measurable impact in the community and has a Federal Work-Study community service percentage over 15 percent.
To earn the award, students engage in mentoring, community outreach, youth, family and disability services, tutoring, animal rescue initiatives, disability services, mental health support, disaster relief efforts and health services. In all, Etown students devote approximately 190,000 hours to community service each year.
Etown’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement is the significant facilitator of campus and community partnerships. In accordance with their mission statement, the Center fosters opportunities for meaningful and reciprocal relationships between Elizabethtown College and the community. Their community-based learning instructional strategy parallels the school’s commitment to Etown’s mission statement to Educate for Service.
President Carl Strikwerda expressed how proud he is of students for fulfilling Etown’s mission. “‘Educate for Service’ is the DNA of Etown, and generations of students have lived this motto during their time on campus and following graduation. It is humbling and gratifying to have our long tradition and the success of our students who are now on campus serving others be recognized by the White House,” he said.
The Center for Community and Civic Engagement has also received the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2010 Engagement Elective Classification, the leading framework for recognizing and describing institutional diversity in U.S. higher education since 1970. These recognitions highlight the Center’s success on campus, most notably through its mentor programs, Moving Forward Together and College Bound, hunger and homelessness education and campus-wide service opportunities such as Into the Streets and Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
“At Etown, where the spirit of service is a core value, and where acts of service are everyday practice, the President’s Honor Roll is an important recognition of the culture of the institution,” Matthew Ascah, director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, said. “[We are] the unit on campus responsible for submitting the application for the President’s Honor Roll each year, and we are pleased to be able to do this on behalf of the College.”
The Center’s solid foundation has helped Etown fulfill the goal of the Community Service Honor Roll program: to increase public awareness of the impact that volunteer service from college students has on communities throughout the nation. In 2013, the value of student community service in the U.S. was $2.5 billion.
The award, established in 2006, has resulted in an increase in the number and impact of students in meeting community needs, rendering them more likely to pursue a lifelong path of civic engagement that achieves meaningful outcomes in the world around them. Such defines Etown’s long history of passion for experiential learning that benefits both students and the world in which they live.