Citadel leads the way in civic engagement and service learning

  • Saturday, August 10, 2013

On the heels of being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll this spring, the military college has once again received national recognition for civic engagement and service learning. The Citadel was one of five colleges and universities across the country to receive the Washington Center 2013 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award, sponsored by the New York Life Foundation.

Recipients were chosen based upon their leadership and innovation in civic engagement. The Citadel will be presented with the award during the Washington Center’s annual awards luncheon in Washington, D.C., at the National Press Club on Oct. 7, 2013.

“The Citadel’s mission is to educate principled leaders. Service learning and civic engagement are key elements toward producing principled leaders. Before you can lead, you need to be able to serve,” said Citadel President Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa. “The Higher Education Civic Engagement Award is further confirmation that our students are making a difference in the lives of others.”

Citadel students spent more than 13,000 hours in community service in the 2011-12 school year -an estimated economic value of more than $286,000. Active partnerships with 36 community organizations make a significant impact in the Lowcountry, including students in Title I schools where test scores are critically low and poverty is high.

Sustaining the student civic engagement is the college’s commitment to service learning that begins in the freshman year and is interwoven into all four years of the Corps of Cadet curriculum as well as the classes in the graduate and evening undergraduate programs. In particular, the required sophomore service learning lab places cadets in service learning activities in one of the following areas: poverty, education, veterans, disabilities, arts or environment.

“It is exciting to see the changes that occur when our students engage with people in the community who have diverse needs and experiences. The college students are educated by the populations they set out to serve, and those served meet up-and-coming adults who really care about them. It is absolutely a win-win for The Citadel, the community, and our shared futures,” said Psychology Professor Conway Saylor who directs the college’s service learning and civic engagement program and who was named the Governor’s Professor of the Year in 2012.

As part of the Higher Education Civic Engagement Award, four Citadel students will be granted scholarships to attend the Washington Center 2014 program, an internship that integrates academics with real world experience.

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