Indiana State University Newsroom

University makes community service honor roll with distinction

March 12, 2012

The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education have once again recognized Indiana State University for its commitment to community service.

ISU is among a select group of colleges and universities from throughout the nation appearing on the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, an honor that went to only 110 of the more than 640 institutions appearing on this year's Honor Roll. The level of recognition for ISU matches that of 2006, the first year of the Honor Roll program.

The President's Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities. By the time the current academic year ends, an estimated 6,600 ISU students will have provided 1.1 million hours of community service, according to ISU's Honor Roll application.

Faculty and staff have joined students and Sycamore Service Corps (AmeriCorps) members in serving nearly 150 community agencies. During the first year of a new program that provides up to two days per year of paid leave to faculty and staff for community service work, 168 employees provided 1,200 hours of service to 68 Wabash Valley agencies.

"The numbers are impressive and we are pleased the ISU community has been recognized with distinction on the President's Honor Roll," said university President Dan Bradley. "However, it is even more gratifying to hear firsthand from our neighbors who benefit from community engagement and the agencies that serve them. Seeing and hearing about the difference our students, faculty and staff are making in the lives of so many people is the best reward of all."

While Indiana State has a history of community engagement, the university is working to more fully connect service learning to academic learning. Faculty assessments for promotion and tenure now consider experiential learning and community engagement and academic majors are required to incorporate service learning.

Students' community service work ranges from disaster relief and cleanup to health care and social work outreach. Students are also involved in economic development by assisting new and expanded businesses and the involvement of students was crucial to the successful opening of an expanded and relocated Terre Haute Children's Museum.

As a founding partner in the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative, Indiana State is also working with other higher education institutions, health care providers, and the city of Terre Haute to improve and expand education and training of health care professionals, especially those committed to serving rural and underserved populations. The collaborative is also addressing neighborhood revitalization and economic development.

But Indiana State is also making a difference beyond the Wabash Valley, said Nancy Rogers, associate vice president for community engagement and experiential learning.

Students spent three days last week assisting victims of the recent tornadoes in southern Indiana and plan at least two return trips this spring to hard hit Henryville, Rogers noted. Students also regularly participate in Alternative Spring Break projects throughout the country and students, faculty, staff and alumni are planning for a second community service day in Indianapolis on March 31.

The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes.

The Honor Roll announcement coincides with AmeriCorps Week 2012, an annual event to recognize the commitment of AmeriCorps members and alums by highlighting the extraordinary impact AmeriCorps makes across the nation. AmeriCorps engages thousands of college students in service, with many colleges and universities hosting AmeriCorps programs and college seniors interested in service join AmeriCorps after graduation. Indiana State University administers the AmeriCorps program in west-central Indiana.

Photo: - Indiana State University students Alexis Strain and Sarah Pemberton lead a presentation during "Go Figure" at the Terre Haute Children's Museum. The newly renovated and expanded museum is but one of dozens of places where ISU students provide community service.

Contact: Nancy Rogers, associate vice president for community engagement and experiential learning, Indiana State University, 812-237-2474 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or