BELLINGHAM – The Corporation for National and Community Service has awarded a $500,000 Learn and Serve grant to Washington Campus Compact, based at Western Washington University.
The grant will support the Northwest Sustainability Initiative to increase habitat restoration and green-energy practices through service-learning opportunities by faculty and students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields at higher education campuses in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
“The Northwest Sustainability Initiative will support the integration of service-learning into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines to increase habitat restoration and green energy practices,” said Washington Campus Compact Executive Director Jennifer Dorr. “These faculty and students will be at the forefront of finding solutions to environmental challenges.”
Grants were awarded to 28 higher education institutions and nonprofits, focused in two main areas: training current and future teachers to use service-learning in the classroom, and to bring service-learning to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines. A total of 192 organizations applied for the grants, demonstrating the growing belief that higher education plays a key role in achieving community impact and that service plays a key role in education.
Learn and Serve America provides what is often the crucial first step to a lifetime of civic engagement for more than a million students each year. As part of its goal of making service-learning a common practice, the program provides resources to teachers, faculty members, schools, and community groups across the country. In 2009, 1.1 million Learn and Serve America participants were engaged in service-learning activities for nearly 20 million hours that addressed challenges and unmet needs across the country.
Established in 1992 and hosted at Western Washington University, the Washington Campus Compact membership of 37 colleges and universities is committed to providing meaningful experiences for students to become active, engaged leaders in their communities, furthering the civic and public purposes of higher education and strengthening communities. WACC is an affiliate state office of Campus Compact, a national organization comprised of more than 1,100 institutions committed to the civic and public purposes of higher education.