Clayton State University has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its leadership in developing programs in interfaith/community service – the only university in Georgia to be so-honored as part of the 2014 Presidential Honor Roll With Distinction.
A total of 98 colleges and universities nationwide have received certificates to honor their leadership in program development under the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, a program launched in 2006 to recognize exemplary work that places students on a lifelong path to civic engagement. Thirty-eight of those institutions, including Clayton State, are recognized “with distinction.” Specifically, Clayton State has been honored under the category of interfaith/community service.
In 2011, President Barak Obama sent a letter to all university and college presidents challenging them to develop or expand programs in interfaith/community service. At Clayton State, this challenge fits the University’s commitment to a supportive community, both on-campus and off-campus.
The Clayton State Department of Campus Life wrote and submitted the application proposal for Clayton State to receive the Presidential Honor Roll award. Although Clayton State has a myriad of programs and people who provide service and support, the University’s recognition by the Department of Education was specifically based on a combination of three programs; the President’s Interfaith Challenge for Higher Education (which Campus Life coordinates), the AmeriCorps National Service Program, and PACE (Partnering Academics and Community Engagement).
“This is a great achievement,” says Natasha L. Hutson, director of the Student Activities Center and Department of Campus Life. “The proposal was sent with detailed language about all three initiatives to support the campus as being an engaged community.”
AmeriCorps is a student organization that has provided more than 125,000 hours of volunteers service over the past three years. For more information on AmeriCorps, go to http://www.clayton.edu/campus-life/Service-Learning/AmeriCorps.
PACE focuses on student engagement through community projects that enhance learning. This plan is part of the University’s reaffirmation of accreditation with SACSCOC, created after input from Clayton State students, faculty and staff as well the broader community.
PACE is aligned with the University’s institutional mission of cultivating an “…environment of engaged, experienced-based learning, enriched by active community service, that prepares students of diverse ages and backgrounds to succeed in their lives and careers” and Strategic Plan emphasis on providing students with an "engaged, experienced-based learning, enriched by active community service."
“There’s no greater satisfaction than service to others,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “I am delighted to see that so many young people, despite their religious beliefs and backgrounds, have pledged to work together to help solve some of their communities’ challenges.