USD Center for Academic Engagement receives MCSLHE grant

VERMILLION, S.D. -- For the fifth consecutive year, The University of South Dakota’s Center for Academic Engagement (CAE) was awarded a service-learning grant by the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education (MCSLHE).

The $20,000 grant will be used to support the University’s mission and signature programs, including service-learning trips to the communities of Greensburg, Kan., and Biloxi, Ms., for tornado and hurricane disaster relief as well as assisting disadvantaged youth in Washington, D.C. As part of the award, USD’s CAE will mentor Dakota State University’s service-learning program. In the past, the CAE has mentored service-learning programs at South Dakota State University, Morningside College, Dakota Wesleyan University and Mount Marty College.

Service-learning programs funded by MCSLHE develop campus and community partnerships emphasizing a need to assist disadvantaged youth and provide disaster response support. Additionally, USD CAE students have provided services to homeless shelters and food pantries as well as enrichment programs for children. “Students collaborating with CAE service-learning opportunities can enrich their academic work with activities that create skills and increase their marketability to prospective employers and professional schools,” said Sarah Wittmuss, CAE director at USD. “The U’s service-learning programs, Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) spring break, National Days of Service and, Alternative Weekends & Events are just a few examples of how students can employ their classroom knowledge to
community action, meet community needs and investigate careers.”

The Consortium is funded through a Learn & Serve grant from the federal Corporation for National & Community Service. For more information about the CAE, including service-learning and scholarship opportunities for students, please visit http://www.usd.edu/engage/about.cfm.