Montgomery County Community College’s students engaged in 24,172 hours of community service and service learning projects in 2013, earning the institution a spot on the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
A significant portion of Montgomery’s service hours resulted from academic service learning, which integrates a service component into an academic course. As part of MCCC’s core curriculum, students are required to complete at least one course that addresses civic responsibility. Last year, 6,456 students engaged in service learning activities while in 225 courses taught by 73 faculty.
An additional 1,411 students and 306 faculty and staff engaged in other forms of community service last year.
“The College’s commitment to service has helped us establish a stronger presence within the community and has raised our students’ awareness of the importance of giving back to the communities in which they live and work,” said Jenna Klaus, MCCC assistance director of civic and community engagement.”
One of the largest community service initiatives in 2013 was a College-wide Day of Service, held in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Day of Service in January. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends spent a day volunteering at several locations in Montgomery County, including the Olivet Boys and Girls Club in Pottstown and the Police Athletic League (PAL) and Preschool Intervention Program in Norristown. In total, 147 volunteers completed 937 hours of service.
Several other larger-scale service initiatives took place throughout the year, including College-wide food drives, an administrative staff day of service, and alternative spring break experiences.
In terms of service learning, the College’s Health Sciences majors led the way by offering free health screenings and information to the College community and to community residents in collaboration with local health care partners. Last year, more than 400 Health Sciences students performed 1,624 hours of service, offering 786 screenings and health information to approximately 1,500 individuals.
According to CNCS, college students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country—a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.
Over the last five years, 5,400 Montgomery volunteers have completed 46,000 hours of service and have contributed $117,571 in monetary donations to partner organizations.
~ by Alana J. Mauger