USD recognized nationally for outstanding community service

VERMILLION, S.D. -- For the second consecutive year, The University of South Dakota was named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

USD's selection to the honor roll is recognition from the highest levels of the federal government for the University’s commitment to service and civic engagement both on campus and in the United States. At the 91st annual meeting of the American Council on Education Monday, it was announced that USD was one of 635 colleges and universities nationwide recognized for instituting an exemplary service-learning program on campus. The honor is a reflection of the hard work and dedication from students, faculty and staff members who have made service a priority at USD, according to The U's Center for Academic Engagement. USD is one of three state institutions to be named to the honor roll.

Each academic year, more than 800 students participate in service-learning activities through academic classes, including the Interdisciplinary Education and Action (IdEA) Program, the First-Year Experience and individual courses, and through programs such as the Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) alternative break program. An additional 400 students participate in community service activities through Students Enhancing Resources for Vermillion Enrichment (SERVE) or other campus organizations. All together, USD students contribute more than 25,000 hours of service to community engagement projects each year.

Launched in 2006, the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, through the organization's Learn and Serve America program, and is sponsored by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.

"In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges," said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. "We salute The University of South Dakota for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others."

Honorees for the various award levels were selected based on a series of factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers service-learning courses. The complete honor roll as well as special achievement award winners from the annual meeting can be found at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.