A national program by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes the efforts of institutions to engage students in meaningful, measurable service in the communities their university serves. CSU Dominguez Hills has been named to the Honor Roll’s “with Distinction” list for the past three years.
This is the first year the university was a finalist for the program’s highest honor and highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning, and civic engagement. CSU Dominguez Hills was among 13 other finalists nationwide, plus the five ultimate winners.
“CSU Dominguez Hills is honored to have been named a finalist for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Presidential Award,” said University Interim President Willie J. Hagan. “This university believes strongly in providing opportunities for students to give back to their communities. Such endeavors not only serve a public good but enhance student learning beyond the classroom and illustrate the impacts their education can have.”
During the past year, more than 6,000 students logged well over 140,000 hours of community service/service learning through campus organizations or their classes. Projects they have worked and continue to work on include the AmeriCorps Jumpstart program, where students mentor Compton preschoolers for reading, math and language acquisition; collection of hygiene and first aid supplies and preparation of ready to eat meals for the homeless on Los Angeles’ skid row; restoration of a native habitat for the Palos Verdes blue butterfly; collection of cellphones for soldiers, eyeglasses for the Lions Club; or teaching conflict resolution to local school children.
CSU Dominguez Hills’ commitment to community engagement is infused in academics, with more than 300 classes having a service component, such as a marketing class where students develop marketing proposals for local nonprofits or family-owned businesses. The university also has a dedicated Center for Service Learning, Internships and Civic Engagement (SLICE) that works to coordinate many of the efforts or provide support as a location for collections, a resource for service opportunities and other information on community engagement topics.
“This award validates the value CSU Dominguez Hills places on community engagement,” SLICE Director Cheryl McKnight said. “Now, we are the touchstone by which other universities will measure their community engagement efforts.”