CSI Named to Presidential Honor Roll For Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service honored the College of Staten Island (CSI) with a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to America’s communities.

“The College of Staten Island is continuing to strengthen its longstanding tradition of public service. The latest national recognition is a reflection of the great work that CSI students, faculty, and staff do every day in service to their community,” said Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor of The City University of New York.

“We are honored by this prestigious distinction,” said Dr. Tomás Morales, President of CSI, “and I am proud of the hard work and dedication of our students, as well as the visionary leadership of our student support professionals who helped make this possible. As a senior college of The City University of New York, and the only institution of public higher education on Staten Island, CSI is committed to serving the rich diversity of our community and city.”

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition that a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award are chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation 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.

CSI’s Emerging Leaders Program earned the College high ranks, especially the student participation in the New York City Department of Homeless Services’ Project HOPE survey. The HOPE survey is conducted annually in January of each year to produce an accurate estimate of the total number of unsheltered individuals on the streets and in the subway system.

CSI students also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help build the interiors of several housing units for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. Habitat is known throughout the world for its unique building model, in which volunteers work alongside the families who will own the completed homes. In this exciting project, CSI students partnered with members of other colleges in the NYC area as well as community volunteers during a holiday break. As the first large-scale building undertaken by Habitat, this project will house 41 families in need — double the number of homes they produce in a typical year. CSI has started conversations with executives at Habitat to be their official college partner when they enter the Staten Island housing market in early 2009.

“In this time of economic distress, we need volunteers more than ever. College students represent an enormous pool of idealism and energy to help tackle some of our toughest challenges,” said Stephen Goldsmith, vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the Honor Roll. “We salute the College of Staten Island for making community service a campus priority, and thank the millions of college students who are helping to renew America through service to others.”

Overall, the Corporation honored six schools with Presidential Awards. In addition, 83 were named as Honor Roll With Distinction members and 546 schools as Honor Roll members. In total, 635 schools were recognized. A full list is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.

“I offer heartfelt congratulations to those institutions named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. College and university students across the country are making a difference in the lives of others every day – as are the institutions that encourage their students to serve others,” said American Council on Education President Molly Corbett Broad.

Recent studies have underlined the importance of service-learning and volunteering to college students. In 2006, 2.8 million college students gave more than 297 million hours of volunteer service, according to the Corporation’s Volunteering in America 2007 study. Expanding campus incentives for service is part of a larger initiative to spur higher levels of volunteering by college students in the U.S. The Corporation is working with a coalition of federal agencies, higher education and student associations, and nonprofit organizations to achieve this goal.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. The Corporation administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America, a program that supports service-learning in schools, institutions of higher education, and community-based organizations. For more information, go to www.nationalservice.gov.

College of Staten Island students volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help New Yorkers in need.

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