For the third consecutive year, the Blinn College Service Learning program was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement. Honorees are chosen based on factors including scope and innovation of projects, percentage of student participation, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
“Service learning is about civic engagement and making a difference,” Blinn service learning director Dr. Greg Phillips said. “Service learning is a roll-up-your-sleeves, hands-on approach to learning.”
The winners were announced today at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C. Blinn also received the honor in 2006 and 2007. Blinn is one of only four Texas community colleges to be named to the 2008 honor roll.
“Service learning is about motivating, and motivated students are successful students,” Phillips said. “When students see the connection between what is going on in the classroom and what is going on in our world, they want to be a part of it. Service learning energizes the college, excites today’s students, and helps the community -- that’s why it works.”
Students on Blinn’s four campuses have documented more than 70,000 hours of service with 72 community partners in 18 different communities throughout the college’s service area.
“While the students’ experiences have been priceless, if we tried to put a value on the students’ service, the Points of Light Foundation established by President George H. W. Bush says the value of Blinn students’ service translate into over a million dollars,” Phillips said.
Service learning combines community service with classroom instruction, thus promoting active learning, enabling students to see the relevance of the academic subject to the real world, increasing student interactions in the community and developing civic responsibility. Blinn began incorporating service learning into selected curriculum in the fall of 2004.
The honor roll is jointly sponsored by the corporation, the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the USA Freedom Corps, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.