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May 18, 2011

UMBC Named to President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Dinah Winnick
Communications Manager
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

For the fourth consecutive year, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has named the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Through this honor, CNCS recognizes UMBC as a “leader among institutions of higher education for [its] support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.” Honorees are chosen based on the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in curriculum, and their commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships.

At UMBC, 30% of undergraduates participated in service activities in 2009-10, organized through Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and the Shriver Center, UMBC’s centralized civic engagement department. Their efforts had a measurable impact on the Greater Baltimore community. The Shriver Center made 625 student service-learning placements with community-based organizations and K-12 schools. Work with 25 local, high-need schools alone benefited over 3,400 K-12 students. Service-learning was also integrated into curricula for 11% of UMBC undergraduates, including several courses focused on social entrepreneurship.

The Choice Program is UMBC’s community-based case management approach to reducing the number of youth in detention. In 2009-10, Choice Community Service-Learning Fellows served more than 660 youth and families in Maryland’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, engaging them in job training, arts programming and other enrichment activities. Over its 20-year history, Choice has become nationally acclaimed for reducing the number of youth at risk of recidivism; 85% of youth do not commit further offenses while receiving Choice services. To-date, it has been replicated in five states.

These impacts are made possible by UMBC’s broader mission to integrate the teaching traditions of the liberal arts academy, the creative intensity of the research university, and the social responsibility of the public university, so that each advances the others for the benefit of society. The Shriver Center includes two full-time service-learning staff and, through Maryland Campus Compact (MDCC), hosts an AmeriCorps VISTA member in an access-success project providing resources for two high-needs Baltimore middle schools. UMBC also supports a graduate coordinator for service and an assistant director for civic agency, to help students discover their potential as self-governing citizens and agents of change.

UMBC congratulates Shriver’s hardworking staff, including Director Michele Wolff, on this important recognition of their dedication to service-learning. In 2010-11, the Shriver Center increased service-learning placements to 631, which translates into nearly 40,000 hours of service committed to our local and regional community, not including Volunteer Week activities and one-time volunteer events across campus. According to CNCS, our student volunteers are among over three million who serve their university communities annually across the country.


Posted by dwinnick at May 18, 2011 11:24 AM