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Carleton Receives Presidential Service Award For Fourth Straight Time

June 1, 2011

Carleton College has received a spot on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2010.

The honor roll annually recognizes institutions of higher education for their commitment to and achievement in community service. The President’s Honor Roll increases the public’s awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole.

Carleton’s two main focal points of service comes through its Acting in the Community Together (ACT) Center, which focuses on volunteer efforts, and its Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) effort, an approach to education focusing on community-based learning, community-based research, and service learning.

“Being on the President's Higher Education Honor Roll for the fourth consecutive year acknowledges Carleton's increased commitment to support partnerships between students, community partners, staff, and faculty,” said ACT Center director Laura Riehle-Merrill. “As ACT celebrates over 25 years of community service, we look forward to partnering more closely with ACE to develop pathways for students to deepen their engagement while increasing community partners' capacity.”

“The award represents recognition for the many ways that Carleton students are engaged in the local community and beyond,” said Carleton director of Academic Civic Engagement Adrienne Falcon ‘89. “From volunteering with senior citizens and youth in Northfield to studying public health and local food systems and giving back information and time to community partners, we are pleased to see Carleton receiving recognition for our many efforts.”

Riehle-Merrill estimates that about 600 Carleton students have contributed roughly 10,000 volunteer hours through ACT, via 35 on-going programs and numerous one-time events and student initiatives. Falcon said on the civic engagement effort, each of the past three years has seen an increase in the number of courses and students participating in ACE projects. In 2009-10 there were 517 students in 27 courses, while 2010-11 witnessed 555 students in 32 courses with an academic civic engagement component. Falcon pointed out that many of these students are also involved in ACT programs, so there is clearly some overlap in the numbers.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Barack Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.