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Contact:
Barbara Laskin
651-696-6203

Macalester College Named to Presidential Honor Roll For Community Service

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St. Paul, Minn. - Feb. 19, 2009 - The Corporation for National and Community Service has honored Macalester College with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities. Macalester is one of only four Minnesota schools on the Honor Roll With Distinction, a more selective level than the basic Honor Roll. 

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award 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.

Macalester's civic engagement program is in its twentieth year and provides course-based and out-of-classroom opportunities for civic engagement and leadership development. Ninety percent of Macalester students participate in local civic work before graduating, such as tutoring youth, teaching English to recent immigrants, promoting sustainability efforts, or assisting nonprofits in community development.

Last year, faculty from 36 classes tied their course objectives with community outcomes, offering students opportunities to apply classroom theories while providing community partners with needed assistance. Many students are also active with one of four civic leadership programs where they serve in the community while learning how to affect positive community change.

“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “We salute Macalester College for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”

Overall, the Corporation honored six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll With Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members.  In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education. 

“I offer heartfelt congratulations to those institutions named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. College and university students across the country are making a difference in the lives of others every day – as are the institutions that encourage their students to serve others,” said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.

Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation’s Volunteering in America 2007 study. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by America’s college students. The Corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education and community-based organizations.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,884 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.