(Portland, Ore.) March 3, 2010 —Portland State University (PSU) has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, one of the highest federal recognitions a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
“This is strong recognition from the White House that PSU is a national leader in community engagement,” said Kevin Kecskes, PSU associate vice provost for engagement. “We continue to build partnerships that enhance learning and help teach our students to not only be effective leaders, but good citizens of their local, national, and global community.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. On campuses across the country, thousands of students joined their faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using the skills gained in their classrooms. Students served as consultants to budget-strapped nonprofits and businesses, volunteered at K-12 schools, and organized environmental conservation projects.
“Congratulations to PortlandStateUniversity and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”
One such example of PSU’s commitment is the Senior Capstone program. In a Capstone project, teams of senior-year students with different majors work together to solve—not just study—a community-identified need. The students think critically, apply what they’ve learned, and oftentimes develop new skills while getting on-the-job training. More than 230 of these community-based research projects are completed each year, and Capstone students provide a huge part of the 1.3 million volunteer hours contributed annually by PSU to the community—an estimated value of $21 million. (For more information go to www.pdx.edu/magazine/news/culminating-partnerships)
Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. Click here for a full list of Honor Roll recipients.
Portland State University (PSU) serves as a center of opportunity for over 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Portland, Oregon, one of the nation’s most livable cities, the University’s innovative approach to education combines academic rigor in the classroom with field-based experiences through internships and classroom projects with community partners. The University’s 49-acre downtown campus exhibits PortlandState’s commitment to sustainability with green buildings, while many of the 213 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees incorporate sustainability into the curriculum. PSU’s motto, “Let Knowledge Serve the City,” inspires the teaching and research of an accomplished faculty whose work and students span the globe. For more information go to www.pdx.edu.