Honor well deserved
June 19, 2010
The 24,000 hours of community service logged by employees and students in the 2009-10 school year has earned the Bloomington campus of Ivy Tech Community College a place on the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
The honor roll, administered by Learn and Serve America at the Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, is a major distinction awarded to selected institutions. Factors considered are innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation, incentives for service, and extent of service-learning courses.
Ivy Tech’s commitment to service is evidenced by the growing number of service-learning courses offered to students, giving them valuable hands-on experience while helping the community with much-needed projects. One course provided water testing for the city of Bloomington; another provided low-income tax preparation services. Girls Inc. and the Owen County Humane Society also received volunteer help from Ivy Tech students. One group even traveled to Mexico to assist with housing and tutoring.
Rather than perpetuating the stereotype of a walled-off academic cocoon, Ivy Tech has long recognized the importance of engaging its students in the community in which they will likely live and work. The very presence of a Center for Civic Engagement sends the message to students, staff and faculty that interacting with and reaching out to the community-at-large is important.
Offering a variety of courses that include a component of volunteerism helps students see first-hand how helping others can improve the quality of life for all. And there is a bonus: service-learning also enriches the educational experience. Learning by doing may have a more lasting impact than book-learning alone.
We commend Ivy Tech-Bloomington for its award; we commend the hundreds of individual volunteers for their generous service.
Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2010