CSU Awarded $1.9 Million in Federal Grants For Service-Learning Programs

CSU Sacramento and Cal State Northridge also receive grants

(Sept. 3, 2003) -- The California State University began the new academic year with $1.9 million in grants funded by Learn and Serve America to support academic projects that involve more than 56,000 students in service-learning opportunities.

Spread over three years, the grants will fund a program developed by the CSU Chancellor’s Office to strengthen the appreciation of service-learning programs among the academic community, a gang-prevention program at Cal State Northridge, and a high school support program at CSU Sacramento.

“These grants promote the creation of a culture that values service learning on campuses,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed. “Service-learning programs contribute to our goal of preparing CSU graduates who are highly qualified professionals and engaged citizens.”

Over the last five years, the CSU has emphasized service learning as an educational method that links academic pursuits with community service experiences. Service learning students work in public schools, and nonprofit and community-based organizations. Last year more than 51,000 CSU students participated in service learning, an 80 percent increase since the beginning of the initiative.

The Chancellor’s Office program, Realizing the Civic Mission of Higher Education in the CSU, will provide sub-grants to the 23 campuses to develop projects that advance educators’ understanding of community service, and formulate guidelines and resources to assist faculty in the creation of courses that integrate civic service.

As part of the CSU grant, California State University, Northridge was awarded $375,000 for the University/Community Partnership to Reduce Gang Activity, a sociology program that aims to reduce gang activity in the San Fernando Valley. Each student will work 300 hours in after-school programs that offer early intervention to youths at risk. The program partners with the San Fernando Valley Coalition on Gangs and the City of Los Angeles’ Police Department.

California State University, Sacramento also received $375,000 for an Ethnic Studies program that trains high school students to be peer counselors, and for another program that identifies community needs.

Learn and Serve America is a program of the Corporation for National and Community
Service, a White House initiative to foster a culture of citizenship and service.

The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, nearly 408,000 students and 45,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded about 2 million degrees. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. Its mission 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. See www.calstate.edu.

Contact: Season Eckardt (562) 951-4787 or Clara Potes-Fellow (562) 951-4806

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Last Updated: September 3, 2003

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