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St. Olaf recognized for community service

By Amy Lohmann '14
March 15, 2012

With 67,900 community service hours contributed by St. Olaf students in the 2010–11 academic year, the Corporation for National and Community Service has once again honored the college with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is St. Olaf's fourth consecutive year on the list.

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. This type of academic civic engagement (ACE) is an aspect of service that is highly emphasized on the Hill. "At St. Olaf, ACE bridges boundaries between the classroom and the wider community," says Nate Jacobi, associate director of civic engagement in the Center for Experiential Learning. "This enables students to contextualize and apply learning associated with the liberal arts."

"At St. Olaf, ACE bridges boundaries between the classroom and the wider community," says Nate Jacobi, associate director of civic engagement in the Center for Experiential Learning.

Jacobi estimates that in the past year, the 490 students in the 26 ACE courses at St. Olaf contributed more than 9,900 hours to local communities. As a part of most ACE courses, students provide a service to a local community through collaboration with a community-based organization. "Students in ACE courses utilize academic knowledge and skills to gather information, conduct research, interact directly with people, write grants, teach children, or develop resources," explains Jacobi (as in these political science and psychology courses; in addition, see a sampling of this year's course offerings).

The remaining 58,000 hours of service by St. Olaf students were fulfilled by a variety of student volunteer organizations.

Along with an emphasis on service-learning and civic engagement, honorees for the Community Service Honor Roll were chosen based on a series of selection factors, including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentive for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or gonnermd@stolaf.edu.