California State University, Long Beach
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CSULB Honored For Community Service

Published: February 2, 2015

From introducing K-12 girls to adventures in engineering to developing job skills training programs, thousands of CSULB students, faculty and staff reached out to the Long Beach community and have been honored for their efforts. CSULB has earned a place on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for public works conducted during 2012-13. The recognition distinguishes colleges and universities engaged in helping solve social and economic problems, achieving meaningful outcomes on behalf of the regions they serve. CSULB has received the distinction four times since the award originated in 2006.

“We are delighted to once again be named to the President’s Community Service Honor Roll. When students engage in service, everyone benefits,” said Jane Close Conoley, president of CSULB. “College students who are taught to apply classroom learning to life off campus are nearly three times as likely to be more engaged in their workplace and the surrounding community upon graduation.”

The Center for Community Engagement, housed at CSULB, reports that approximately 12,109 students engaged in some form of community service in 2012-13, including 5,311 who were involved in academic service-learning. In total, these students logged more than 1.2 million community service hours during that time. It is also believed that roughly 800 CSULB faculty and staff were involved in some kind of community service that same year.

“At Cal State Long Beach, we are continually emphasizing our commitment to service-learning and working together with various community-based organizations in Long Beach and the surrounding area,” said Juan M. Benitez, director, Center for Community Engagement. “Many of our students, faculty and staff are from the region and they are strengthening their communities by engaging with their neighbors through service.”

Examples of service at CSULB include students, faculty and staff hosting more than 1,000 K-12 girls through the Women In Engineering Outreach Program, as part of a national initiative to increase the number of women working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and working with Century Villages to develop job skills training programs for its homeless clients. They also helped rebuild the natural physical landscape, re-establish drainage trenches and remove non-native plants from the city’s Colorado Lagoon and participated in leadership training workshops.

According to a report conducted by Volunteering and Civic Life in America, 3.1 million college students participated in 118 million service hours in 2012. Their work provided $2.5 billion in value to communities throughout the U.S.

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) strategic commitment to engage millions of college students in service and celebrate the critical role of higher education in strengthening communities. It has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.

Established in 1993, CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its core programs—Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and the Social Innovation Fund—and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve.