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. This year, some 742 colleges were honored from among the country’s 4,146 two- and four-year colleges and universities. There were a total of 28 colleges in Illinois on the list.
Among the projects submitted by the college for the honor were “The Plunge,” a day-long event in which 75 students, faculty and staff did work at eight area nonprofit agencies; an ongoing outreach effort to homeless clients at the Rockford Rescue Mission and other agencies serving the homeless; and the Alan Hutchcroft Alternative Spring Break in which almost 50 students, staff, and alumni built homes for Habitat for Humanity in Starkville, Miss. Altogether, some 305 students at the 1,400-student college devoted 6,750 hours to volunteer activities on behalf of 20 non-profit agencies in 2009.
In addition to the volunteer efforts, the college is active in making service a part of course work. Some 50 courses have incorporated some community-based learning as part of the curriculum. Students have been involved in everything from volunteering at a drop-in center for the mentally ill as part of a psychological disorders class to nursing students teaching diabetic homeless individuals about proper nutrition.
The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.