March 15, 2012
Westerville, OH—Otterbein University was named a finalist for the President’s Award for General Community Service as part of the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll through the Corporation for National and Community Service. Otterbein is the only school in Ohio to be honored as a finalist.
This is the sixth year Otterbein has been recognized on the Honor Roll with Distinction. Otterbein was one of the first institutions to receive the additional honor of winning the President’s Award for General Community Service for the 2007 Honor Roll.
“Otterbein’s students are dedicated to community service at an extraordinary level, and we strive to provide them with a diverse range of opportunities to serve, from our weekly student-led service programs to our wide array of service-learning courses. Receiving this recognition from the White House for six consecutive years, including the 2007 President’s Award, reminds us each year that our national reputation for service is as strong as our reputation among our local community partners,” said Otterbein President Kathy Krendl. “Otterbein students graduate knowing how to be responsible citizens of any community and how to make a difference.”
“Preparing students to participate in our democracy and providing them with opportunities to take on local and global issues in their course work are as central to the mission of education as boosting college completion and closing the achievement gap,” said Eduardo Ochoa, the U.S. Department of Education’s assistant secretary for postsecondary education. “The Honor Roll schools should be proud of their work to elevate the role of service-learning on their campuses. Galvanizing their students to become involved in projects that address pressing concerns and enrich their academic experience has a lasting impact – both in the communities in which they work and on their own sense of purpose as citizens of the world. I hope we’ll see more and more colleges and universities following their lead.”
Established in 2006, the Honor Roll’s Award with Distinction is one of the highest awards a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. The Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. Honorees for the award were selected based upon numerous factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
Otterbein’s Center for Community Engagement’s (CCE) dedicated students and faculty improves the level of participation, programs and civic issues it covers each year. The Center for Community Engagement brings together volunteerism, service-learning and community-based action research for interested students, giving them a multitude of service activities to choose from. Eighty percent of Otterbein’s students participate in service activities, contributing over 75,000 service hours to the community in 2010-11. As part of its curriculum, Otterbein offers more than 75 service-learning courses enrolling more than 1,000 students.
In addition to the 15 weekly service programs the Center for Community Engagement organizes for Otterbein students, it also coordinates three community plunges annually for students, faculty and alumni and it hosts several projects benefiting Otterbein’s campus and the Westerville community. Otterbein students have the opportunity to volunteer internationally through the Senior Year Experience (SYE) classes. Students have recently traveled to Costa Rica and Trinidad to volunteer their time and services.
For more information regarding service-learning courses and community service programs at Otterbein University, visit www.otterbein.edu/academics/cce.