Indiana University East has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, its fourth straight year for the honor by The Corporation for National and Community Service for exemplary service efforts and service to communities.
The distinction is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.
In 2004, Ange Cooksey, director of service-learning and senior lecturer in Humanities, established the Baxter Neighborhood Help Center as a cooperative project between IU East and the Richmond community. The center has been a successful learning tool and community outreach program for students.
Cooksey said the center continues to grow and develop, offering high-quality programs for children in the neighborhood and the IU East students who volunteer at the center. The center has relocated to the former Baxter Elementary School through a partnership with Richmond Community Schools.
“Unlike any other classroom experiences students may have, service-learning provides the spark that really ignites the relationship between theory and practice – between what they are studying in the classroom and what they will be doing the rest of their lives,” Cooksey said. “Service-learning brings learning to life and through our work at the Baxter Center, we continue to provide a rich, supportive environment in which students can truly learn and grow to realize their full potential. We are gratified that for the fourth year, the federal government has seen fit to recognize our work and to award our endeavors.”
The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is presented during the annual conference of the American Council on Education.