Rutgers–Camden Named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

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By Tom McLaughlin

Further bolstering its reputation as a national leader in civic engagement, Rutgers University–Camden was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll this fall by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

civicscholars1This honor recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs and raise the visibility of effective practices in campus community partnerships. The award is one of the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning, and civic engagement.

“This is the fourth year in a row that Rutgers University–Camden has received this honor,” says Nyeema Watson, associate chancellor for civic engagement at Rutgers–Camden. “It shows that the commitment the University made in 2010 to embrace civic engagement as a core part of its mission has been taken seriously by our faculty, staff, and students, and, in turn, has more deeply embedded the community and its residents into the fabric of the University in meaningful and substantive ways.”

Rutgers–Camden students, faculty, and staff spent more than 432,080 hours on community service during the 2015-2016 academic year, an increase of more than 23 percent from the previous year. Almost 80 percent of Rutgers–Camden students participated in community service; of those, more than 70 percent contributed 20 or more hours of service, and 88 Rutgers–Camden students participated in service through AmeriCorps placements.

civicscholars3More than half of the Rutgers–Camden population – 3,216 students – made community service and civic engagement a part of their credit-bearing academic experience. This represents more than a 100 percent increase in students participating in engaged civic learning experiences from the previous academic year.

Rutgers–Camden’s many service-oriented initiatives include the North Camden Schools Partnership, which connects Rutgers students with Camden children for afterschool enrichment activities; a wide array of pro bono and clinical legal programs offered through the Rutgers Law School; empowerment workshops delivered by the Community Leadership Center; and research-driven analysis developed by the Center for Urban Research and Education.

Rutgers–Camden was previously among five colleges and universities nationwide chosen to receive the 2015 Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards presented by The Washington Center and the New York Life Foundation.

Rutgers–Camden also earned another national honor when the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching selected the research university to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.

The Corporation for National and Community Service has administered the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since 2006 in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education, Campus Compact, and the Interfaith Youth Core.

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