Montco students earn honor for community service

November 16, 2016 GMT

Montgomery County Community College students volunteered for 165,422 hours of community service and service learning projects in 2015, earning the College a place on the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the General Community Service category.

According to CNCS’s website, the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll promotes the role of colleges and universities in addressing and solving community challenges, and as a result, more students are likely to stay involved in their communities and undertake civic leadership positions. The General Community Service category “recognizes institutions that have made a commitment to improving the quality of life of off-campus community residents, particularly low-income individuals.”

The majority of the service hours by MCCC students 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, 4,964 students engaged in service learning activities in 84 courses taught by approximately 84 faculty.

Additionally, approximately 6,564 students, faculty and staff were involved in other forms of community service. The major community service projects included two Alternative Spring Break (ASB) experiences. One involved a weeklong trip to The Samaritan Woman, a transitional residence program for victims of human trafficking in Baltimore, Md. The students engaged in advocacy efforts for victims of sex trafficking and also assisted the staff and residents with maintenance and other chores at the facility.

The second ASB experience involved theater arts students working on a weeklong awareness project for homelessness in Norristown area in partnership with Theatre Horizon, the Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center of Montgomery County, Hopeworx and Cabrini College. The students created an interactive exhibit called “Imagine No Homelessness” to generate attention to and educate people about poverty and homelessness. The exhibit was on display at Theatre Horizon and the College’s Science Center Theater.

Developing an engaged community by connecting students, faculty, staff and the community is one of the College’s six strategic goals.

“It’s important for students to engage in service, especially within the community where they will live and work,” said Interim Director of Student Life Dr. Jenna Klaus. “The Student Leadership and Involvement office continues to support and provide students with these types of opportunities during their college experience.”

MCCC and Northampton County Community College were the only two community colleges in Pennsylvania on the Honor Roll in the General Community Service Category.

— Source: Montgomery County Community College