Most decorated service learning program in the country
CSU Monterey Bay was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement.
The Corporation for National and Community Service received applications from more than 1,000 colleges and universities. Five received the Presidential Award; 14, including CSUMB, were named finalists.
In 2006, the program’s inaugural year, CSU Monterey Bay was one of three recipients of the top award. The university earned the top honor again in 2011, making it the only two-time recipient of the President’s Award. Since the program’s inception, CSUMB has received the top award or has been a finalist each year; it is the most decorated service learning program in the country.
"I can personally attest based on my time in Washington that our university is nationally recognized as a leader in service learning and community engagement. Not only is service learning woven into our curriculum, it is also part of our university's ethos of engaging with and contributing to the betterment of our surrounding communities," said Dr. Eduardo M. Ochoa, CSUMB president.
CSUMB is the only public university in California, and one of the few nationally, where service learning is a requirement for all students. Each year, nearly 50 percent of CSUMB’s students enroll in service learning courses, contributing more than 65,000 hours of service to more than 250 schools, non-profit organizations and government agencies in the tri-county area. Service learning is an academic department, where issues of service, diversity, social justice and social responsibility are linked to the core curriculum.
“It’s wonderful to see our program being recognized nationally and even internationally,” said Dr. Seth Pollack, director of Service Learning at CSUMB. “No other university in the country has made as significant a commitment to developing students’ capacity for service and social responsibility.
“We have a very special program, and it feels great to again be recognized as a national leader.”
The honor roll was announced March 4 at the American Council on Education’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
According to the Corporation and National and Community Service, honorees are chosen based on a variety of criteria, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.