St. Olaf honored for community service
The Corporation for National and Community Service has honored St. Olaf College with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts.
This is the college’s fifth year on the list, and is a testament to the 59,000 hours of service that St. Olaf students have contributed to community development in the past year.
The 2013 Honor Roll recipients include institutions that focus on “meaningful, measurable outcomes in the communities they serve.” The Community Service Honor Roll was launched in 2006 and is the highest distinction an academic institution can achieve for commitment to service learning and civic engagement.
“Civic engagement is expressed through internships, volunteering, research, and coursework that allows students to extend learning beyond the classroom and work with others to address community and public issues,” says Nate Jacobi, associate director of civic engagement in the St. Olaf Piper Center for Vocation and Career.
Academic civic engagement courses are a significant contributing factor to community service integration at St. Olaf. These courses provide students with opportunities to connect their classroom experiences with a larger community, integrating service learning into academia (examples include this American studies course, which is among the 28 civic engagement courses offered in the 2012–13 school year).
Students at St. Olaf have also contributed hours through the St. Olaf Volunteer Network, community-based work study, service-oriented internships, numerous student organizations, and programs like the annual Ole Spring Relief trip.
Honorees for the Community Service Honor Roll were chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service learning courses.