Contact: Rene Abadie
Date: March 15, 2013
SERVICE WORK RECOGNIZED -- Southeastern Louisiana University students lay sod and plant azaleas on campus as part of The Big Event, a major community service activity that attracted more than 800 student volunteers working on campus and in the area communities. Southeastern was placed on the President's Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service for the third consecutive year.
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University has been recognized for its spirit of community
service by being named to a national honors list for the third consecutive year.
The university was listed again this year on the President's Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service, which recognizes institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
The honor cites the work of more than 5,300 Southeastern students who provided approximately 133,000 hours of voluntary service to national and area non-profit agencies and other organizations. The estimated value of this work is $3.1 million.
"Southeastern is proud to again be listed on the national President's Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service," said Southeastern President John L. Crain. "Our students, faculty and staff over the years have demonstrated a strong spirit of volunteerism. Their willingness to give back to the communities in which we live and work is evident and is highly valued."
Tena Golding, director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, which oversees service-learning projects at the university, said the culture of service at Southeastern is evident in the growth of student-led projects.
"The Big Event, a Student Government Association-sponsored initiative, recently completed its third service day, attracting about 800 students who worked at 40 job sites in the area, doing painting, landscaping, trash pickup and other jobs," she said. "Nursing students provided more than 1,700 hours of health services, while teacher candidates tutored hundreds of at-risk students through programs like the After School Achievement Program, Project Step Up and Reach Out and Read."
The university was recognized for both its community service activities – general service projects not linked to any specific course work – and its service-learning projects.
Golding explained that service-learning projects are integrated with academic courses and strongly tied to course objectives. Through service-learning, the academic theories and principles of the classroom are used in real world applications. Examples, she said, include teacher candidates presenting an anti-bullying campaign for local PreK-third grade students to gain a better perspective of the impact bullying can have on young children's self-esteem and learning; and sociology students analyzing community-based research and applying their knowledge of social organizations and sustainable food systems to promote the local food economy.
"Community service projects and service-learning are both highly valuable and commendable," she said. "Both contribute to helping students become motivated, experienced leaders and citizens, who are cognizant of society's needs.
According to Southeastern's report, in 2011-12, service-learning activities were incorporated into 67 academic course sections involving more than 1,700 students.
In general community service activities, Golding said fraternities and sororities alone documented more than 22,700 service hours and donated nearly $69,500 to non-profit agencies.
The report also noted contributions of Southeastern faculty and staff members who logged more than 12,200 hours of service, and participated in campus-wide fundraising campaigns for organizations such as the United Way, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.