As a student it can be difficult to have much productive free time between studying for exams, extracurricular activities and a social life. But many students do, and they spend that time engaging in their local communities. College students are the biggest crowd of volunteers in America, with 3.1 million students engaging in community service with 118 million hours served each year. These efforts are ones that indeed should be recognized and valued.
Each year, the President of the United States recognizes the institutions of higher education that reflect values of community service and partnerships. This year, 19 SUNY schools were named to the President’s Higher Education Commmunity Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest federal recognition that a campus can receive for its efforts in community and civic engagement. With the value of student community service being estimated at around $2.5 billion, this shows us that each school provides measurable outcomes provided by these schools in their communities.
Community service is one of the many ways students can gain valuable experiences outside of the classroom. Applied learning is growing all across higher education as students and universities are seeing the benefits of being prepared for graduation with real world experience. In fact, right now every SUNY student has the opportunity to do at least one applied learning experience before they graduate. Community Service is a valuable form of applied learning and a great way to keep students involved and developing leadership skills.
Each year, we run a 30 Days of Giving Campaign in which we highlight the valuable community service taking place at our schools, building their community partnerships and applied learning opportunities in efforts to enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. Be sure to come back next week to begin the journey with us.