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COC named to President's Community Service Honor Roll

Posted: March 10, 2010 3:52 p.m.
Updated: March 11, 2010 2:26 p.m.
For the fourth time in as many years, College of the Canyons has been honored for its dedication to providing access to service-learning educational opportunities with inclusion on the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction.

Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, inclusion on the annual Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service learning and civic engagement.

As one of only 16 higher education institutions in the state - and the only California community college - to earn "Distinction" honors, College of the Canyons has been recognized alongside the nation's top tier of honored institutions.

College of the Canyons has been included on the Honor Roll every year since its inception in 2006 - having previously earned Distinction honors in 2007.

"College of the Canyons strives to be a resource for as many people as possible and service-learning is an outstanding way for us to extend our reach into the community," said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook. "We appreciate the ongoing recognition of our success in this arena and we look forward to creating even more opportunities for our students to collaborate with our local non-profit and service organizations."

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to teach civic responsibility, strengthen communities and enrich the learning experience.

With the belief that students can make valuable contributions to the world while gaining educational experience, COC strives to increase community involvement, strengthen student leadership skills and build meaningful community relationships by carrying out various service-learning projects.

"It's because of the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty, and community-based non-profit partners that College of the Canyons has received this honor," said Jennifer Hauss, director of service-learning at the college. "I applaud them all for the important work they're doing to strengthen our communities, and in turn our nation."

Last semester service-learning projects at COC included the participation of roughly 40 faculty members from across the college's various disciplines, 85 non-profit community-based organizations and more than 350 students.

Projects included a collaboration with the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services Tutoring and Mentoring Project, in which COC students established a mentor relationship with children in foster care ranging in age from seven to 17.

Another successful service-learning collaboration is the annual drive-thru flu clinic - joint sponsored by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the city of Santa Clarita, College of the Canyons and the L.A. County Sheriff's and Fire Departments - in which COC nursing and EMT students gained valuable experience working with patients and dispensing flu vaccinations.

"Congratulations to College of the Canyons 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."

The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

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.


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