Scranton Makes President’s Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction

Mar 5, 2010

     The University of Scranton is among just 115 colleges in the nation, and one of only 17 schools in Pennsylvania, to be named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. The Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition colleges and universities can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement. 

     Scranton is among the five Jesuits universities in the nation named to the Honor Roll with Distinction. The other Jesuit schools are The College of the Holy Cross, Fordham University, Loyola University of Chicago and Saint Louis University.

     Each year, approximately 2,850 University of Scranton students provide more than 170,000 hours of volunteer service through local, domestic and international service programs and service learning. Scranton has more than 160 for-credit courses with a service-learning component taught by more than 70 faculty members. Thirty-three percent of Scranton students participate in these classes and 42 percent of the University’s academic departments have a service-learning requirement.

     The Leahy Community Health and Family Center, operated through Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies, is among the on-campus service-learning and volunteer service opportunities in which students participate.  The center provides comprehensive community engagement programs for the health profession students and staff. Among the numerous programs offered through the center are the Leahy Clinic for the Uninsured, nutrition and exercise counseling, behavior therapy sessions, physical therapy evaluation and treatment, the “peacemakers” after school program, an autism playgroup and the University of Success, a multiyear enrichment program that encourages underserved middle and high school students to attend college.

      University of Scranton students also volunteer in a variety of capacities for numerous organizations throughout northeast Pennsylvania and have also participated in national and international service trips to Washington, D.C., New Orleans, Haiti and Mexico. Students volunteer locally as tutors, mentors and coaches, assist with tax preparation, organize health education events, and provide aid at Hospice and area nursing homes. Students also run multiple food pantries located both on- and off-campus.

     Some of the annual projects organized through the Jesuit university’s Community Outreach Office include a Halloween trick-or-treat in the residence halls for area children in need, a Thanksgiving food basket drive, a Christmas gift drive, a Christmas Day breakfast, an Easter basket drive and collections to support migrant workers. Students also support the efforts of numerous local nonprofit organizations and help with local charity fund raisers.

     Scranton students also serve through projects incorporated into their academic courses. For example, students participating in the Kania School of Management’s Business Leadership Program have assisted a local hospital’s OB-GYN clinic, an in- and out-patient facility for troubled teens, and the Employment Opportunity and Training Center. Business Leadership students are currently assisting a local non-profit organization with a neighborhood revitalization program.

     Launched in 2006, the President’s Honor Roll recognizes institutions of higher learning that support innovative, effective and exemplary community service programs. Universities recognized were selected based on a series of factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, the percentage of students participating in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers service-learning courses.

     The 2009 Honor Roll is comprised of six schools recognized as Presidential Awardees, 115 schools named to the Honor Roll with Distinction, and 621 schools named to the Honor Roll.

     The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

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