Again, WWU wins national recognition for community service

Western Washington University has been selected for the national 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction award, which recognizes higher education institutions across the country that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. 

“Western is committed to reaching out to communities in Washington state and beyond to change lives for the better. Fostering the well-being of the communities we serve is a top priority for our university,” said Western President Bruce Shepard.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, admitted a total of 641 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth. Of that total, 511 were named to the Honor Roll, 114 received the recognition of Honor Roll with distinction, 11 were identified as finalists, and six received the Presidential Award.

Western and Gonzaga University in Spokane were the only universities in Washington state selected for the Honor Roll with Distinction.

CNCS honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service. For more information, see President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

“It was wonderful to learn that WWU has received the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction award.  It gives us an opportunity to tell the story of our caring community to a national audience.  This distinction will further strengthen our relationships with the community, alumni and donors; and students will become more aware of Western’s commitment to service and want to join our community!” said Tim Costello, director of Western’s Center for Service-Learning.

Steven VanderStaay, vice provost for Undergraduate Education at Western, noted this is the second recent national award recognizing Western’s commitment to community service. In January, Western received the 2010 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. To receive the Carnegie classification, institutions must operate community outreach programs that meet a need, deepen students' civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being and enrich the scholarship of the institution

The CNCS oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education.

“Many thanks to the Provost’s Office at Western for supporting this effort, and technical support from Gary McKinney (Provost’s Office management analyst) who made sense of all of our data,” Costello said.