The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) recently named Dillard to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for its leadership among institutions of higher education and its support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. The CNCS Honor Roll recognizes universities whose students, faculty and staff engage in meaningful service that achieves measurable results in the community.
“Congratulations to Dillard University and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick A. Corvington, chief executive officer of CNCS. “We salute all the Honor Roll awardees for embracing their civic mission and providing opportunities for their students to tackle tough national challenges through service.”
Dillard University students are required to complete 120 hours of community servicebefore graduation, and at least 60 of those hours must entail service-learning specific to their major field of study. Dillard University’s Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE) integrates service into the curriculum through the first-year seminar course, a general education requirement for all students. For eight straight years, the CFYE has facilitated first-year students’ participation in national Make A Difference Day. During the spring semester, the CFYE guides students through a semester-long planning process so they can execute a service-learning project on Global Youth Service Day in April. This year, Dillard’s Class of 2014 led numerous projects, including raising awareness of domestic violence, feeding the homeless, and planning clothing and food drives to benefit the needy. Students also spoke to high school students about attending college and taught elementary and middle school students how to live healthier, more active lifestyles.
This fall the CFYE will spearhead Louisiana Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) for the Class of 2015. The CERT program provides disaster preparedness training and teaches basic disaster response skills. Participants learn how to assist others during a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available.
“When I arrived at Dillard University eight years ago, I was excited to know that the university had a community service graduation requirement,” said Dr. Henrietta Harris, director of Dillard’s Center for the First Year Experience. “I am incredibly impressed by the compassion and creativity our students possess. They are using the skills acquired in their coursework to impact the problems facing the world around them.”
A total of 851 institutions applied for the CNCS’s fifth annual Honor Roll, a nine percent increase over last year. The CNCS, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, acknowledged a total of 641 colleges and universities for theirimpact on issues including literacy, neighborhood revitalization, and supporting at-risk youth. Dillard joined 15 other HBCUs on the list, including Morehouse, Spelman, North Carolina Central, and Claflin.