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California State University Campuses Lead in Community Engagement

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(May 19, 2011) - California State University, Monterey Bay and San Francisco State University were among six universities that received Presidential Awards from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Twelve other CSU campuses, including California State University, Fresno which received a finalist award, received the highest federal honor that universities can receive for their commitment to service learning, civic engagement and volunteerism.

“This national recognition honors the many individuals at our CSU campuses, who despite tight budgetary times, believe that contributing, persevering and dedicating their time to others will  make California a better place for our students and residents,” said Judy Botelho, CSU director of the Center for Community Engagement.

The 14 CSU campuses are among the 641 institutions of higher learning that were named recently to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to America’s communities.

CSU recipients of the Presidential Awards were honored in these categories:

  • General Community Service, which considers the scope and quality of an institution’s community service, service-learning, and civic engagement programs. San Francisco State received this top honor. SFSU serves one of the country’s most ethnically and racially diverse student populations. It has increased the number of local minority students admitted by offering after-school, college-level classes to disadvantaged students of color in more than 15 high schools.Through community partnerships, SFSU students volunteer in community projects that provide health education, English language classes for immigrants, violence prevention programs, and educational programs for at-risk youth. Additionally, Fresno State was a finalist in this category.
  • Summer Learning, which provides a safe, healthy environment for academic enrichment during summer breaks to help students retain what they learned during the academic year. CSU Monterey Bay received this honor. CSUMB students contribute more than 84,000 hours of service annually to programs aimed at reducing the academic achievement gap. The Increase the Peace Summer Youth Leadership program provides literacy, math, and art classes in the summer for local at-risk middle school students, resulting in increased academic achievement and positive behavioral change.

Three CSU campuses received the “Honor Roll with Distinction” designation: Dominguez Hills, Los Angeles and Stanislaus. Eight CSU campuses were named “Honor Roll” members: Channel Islands, Chico, Fullerton, Northridge, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo and San Marcos.

The CSU was the first higher education system in the country to establish a system office supporting service learning and community engagement. According to CSU Center for Community Engagement data, the 23 CSU campuses had 2,500 partner sites for student placement during the 2009-10 academic year. Additionally, 133 new service learning courses were created for a total of 2,588 courses offered systemwide, providing opportunities for 70,000 students annually. If service learning, community service and civic engagement hours were totaled for the nearly half of CSU’s 412,000 students who provide some type of service, the total annual economic impact approaches $667 million.

A total of 851 institutions applied for the 2010 Honor Roll, a nine percent increase over last year, a sign of the growing interest by colleges and universities in highlighting their efforts to engage students in making a difference in the community.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a strong partner with the nation’s colleges and universities in supporting community service and service-learning. Last year, CNCS provided more than $215 million in support to institutions of higher education, including grants to operate service programs and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for college tuition and student loan repayment.

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About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 412,000 students and 43,000 faculty and staff. The CSU awards about 90,000 degrees annually and since its creation in 1961 has conferred nearly 2.6 million. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever changing needs of the people of California.  With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California. Connect with and learn more about the CSU at CSU Social Media.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service
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.CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. For a full list of Honor Roll recipients and descriptions of their service, visit www.NationalService.gov/HonorRoll.