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National Organization Recognizes UW-Eau Claire's
Community Service Programs

RELEASED: Oct. 25, 2006

The Presidents Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll logoEAU CLAIRE — A federal agency charged with fostering an ethic of volunteerism and service in America has recognized the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for its outstanding community service programs.

UW-Eau Claire was among the 141 public and private colleges, universities and professional schools named in the first President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for General Community Service, compiled by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

This new recognition program is designed to increase public awareness of the contributions that college students are making within their local communities and across the country through volunteer service. More than 500 colleges applied for the Honor Roll in its inaugural year.

"I'm thrilled that the university and our students have been recognized for the contributions we're making to our region," said Don Mowry, director of the Center for Service-Learning. "About 2,000 UW-Eau Claire students annually contribute nearly 100,000 community service hours, a majority of them in western Wisconsin. It's estimated that the value of the students' service totals about $1.5 million a year. Clearly, their efforts are making a real difference in the Chippewa Valley and beyond."

UW-Eau Claire is one of only five public comprehensive universities nationwide with a service-learning requirement for all students. Students must complete 30 hours of community service to graduate. Many students go far beyond those required hours, Mowry said.

Student projects vary greatly, ranging from tutoring children to Web development for schools and non-profit agencies to helping senior citizens stay fit, Mowry said.

"Our students are constantly finding new and creative ways to serve the community, and a growing number of community organizations are turning to the university with requests for student support," Mowry said. "It's a win-win because the students get to use the skills they're learning in the classroom in a real-world setting and our community partners benefit from the energy and talents of our students."

The honor rolls and other service awards were presented after the Corporation for National and Community Service released a comprehensive report, "College Students Helping America," which shows college student civic engagement rising significantly in recent years. The study, which used data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that student volunteering increased approximately 20 percent from 2002 to 2005, and that 3.3 million college students serve their communities and nation.

Presented in concert with Campus Compact, the 2006 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development. More information can be found at their Web site.

More information about UW-Eau Claire's Center for Service-Learning can be found on their Web site.

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JB

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