Our Lady of the Lake College has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction. This is the sixth time that Our Lady of the Lake College has been named to the Honor Roll and the second time to be named to the Honor Roll “with Distinction.”
Tulane University joined Our Lady of the Lake College as the only two Louisiana schools named to the Honor Roll with special recognition.
This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. This year 113 colleges and universities across the United States were recognized with the Honor Roll with Distinction for their strong institutional commitment to service.
Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has administered the award since 2006. It chooses institutions for recognition based on their achievements in general community service or in one of two special focus areas which align with the President’s education and innovation priorities. Schools recognized with “Distinction" additionally share a key characteristic: that there is evidence that their service has made measurable improvement in the community.
“This institution, which was founded upon a tradition of service by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, strives each day to better meet the needs of our community,” explains Sandra S. Harper, Ph.D., Our Lady of the Lake College President. “In collaboration with the outstanding local community partners we work with, we can see conclusively that our efforts have had a real and substantial impact. We are pleased that our students, faculty, and staff continue to be acknowledged for their dedication to serving others.”
Our Lady of the Lake College has developed a national reputation for service in the community. In 2011 the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching named OLOL College to an elite list of institutions designated with the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. This classification put OLOL College into a select group of 311 higher education institutions in the United States recognized for their student’s engaged service in the community through service-learning and civic engagement initiatives.
On a campus of approximately 1700 students, over 1300 Our Lady of the Lake College students participated in community service of some kind during the award’s timeframe, giving almost 19,000 total service hours to the community. According to DatabankUSA, the estimated dollar value of a volunteer hour for Louisiana is $18.71, which translates to over $355,000 worth of service offered through our community partners.
CNCS manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.
“Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Civic engagement should be a key component of every student’s education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens.”
The entire list of schools recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll can be accessed at http://www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll/ .