Service-Learning with Distinction
Since the award’s inception in 2006, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has named UNCG to its annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. And this year, UNCG has made the Honor Roll with Distinction shortlist.
The 2013 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a school can receive for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement, lists 690 American colleges and universities. Of those institutions, 113 — including UNCG — were singled out for distinction.
“UNCG has always prided itself on community service, and contributing to the surrounding community is one hallmark of a great university,” says Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “Service-learning and civic engagement are an integral part of the UNCG experience, and I congratulate the students, faculty and staff who have dedicated their time and talent to bettering Greensboro, North Carolina, and our nation.”
“This recognition is in keeping with UNCG’s legacy and the university motto of Service,” says Dr. Cherry Callahan, vice chancellor for Student Affairs. “Our students, faculty, and staff are committed community citizens and clearly recognize that we are a proud part of the larger community.”
During the 2011-12 academic year, UNCG students, faculty and staff performed 819,455 hours of community service. UNCG’s application to CNCS details several noteworthy service projects fostered by the university. Among them:
Bringing Us Benches and Bus Shelters (BUBBS). The BUBBS project arose out of the need for more bus shelters and benches in Greensboro. This is a multi-year project in which UNCG students work with students at Dudley High School in Greensboro to advocate for more bus shelters and other social issues. The Dudley students collected umbrellas for homeless shelters, and lobbied the Greensboro City Council for more bus shelters. The goal of the project was to increase retention at Dudley by helping students become more engaged in civic issues they care about.
GK–12 . GK-12 is funded by the National Science Foundation. Graduate student fellows from three departmental graduate programs at UNCG (Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Geography) are paired with teachers and students at three Guilford County Schools: Montlieu (elementary), Welborn Academy of Science and Technology (middle) and Andrews High School. Fellows, teachers and students investigate the biological, chemical, physical, health-related and socioeconomic effects of changing land use patterns in the region. Students focused on environmental issues surrounding the greenway that abuts the three schools, all located near one another in High Point.
Industries of the Blind design project. In Fall 2011, 23 second-year interior architecture students were assigned to assess Greensboro’s Industries of the Blind (IOB) building, along with two additional institutions in the community. After initial studies, a team of nine students worked directly on the IOB interior. Students began with Braille as their inspiration, creating textures, lighting effects and a color palette from those studies. They also captured oral histories of IOB employees and designed a multi-faceted series of interior installations to capture the richness and character of the institution as well as those who work there. The project resulted in a design for the lobby, stairwell and circulation spaces, conference room, and factory floor spaces to display a history of the organization and reflect IOB’s culture, mission, and role in the community. Following the studio semester, two students continued to complete details of the proposal in an independent study in Spring 2012, and one student, with funding from UNCG’s Undergraduate Research Program, carried the work forward into the summer.
Peck Elementary String Program. The Peck Elementary String Program is a collaborative effort between the Greensboro Symphony, UNCG, and Clara J. Peck Elementary School. The primary goal is to provide instrumental music instruction to underprivileged students, who might not otherwise have access to a string instrument. The secondary goal is to provide an opportunity for music education majors from UNCG to experience a diverse teaching and learning environment.
Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, CNCS has administered the Community Service Honor Roll since 2006. CNCS also administers the AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs, all focused on strengthening communities through volunteerism.
CNCS manages the Honor Roll program 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 and Campus Compact.
For more on service-learning at UNCG, visit http://olsl.uncg.edu/service-learning/.