The University of Texas at El Paso has been included on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll list for 2013.
The Honor Roll is a program of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that raises the visibility of best practices in campus-community partnerships and recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary community service programs.
This presidential award is the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. During the period of July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, UTEP students completed nearly half a million community service hours.
“It really shows that we’re fulfilling the institution mission of giving back and providing service to the region,” said UTEP Associate Provost John Wiebe, Ph.D.
All accredited degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States were eligible to be included on the 2013 honor roll based on student service that took place during the 2011-12 academic year. Applicants were selected if the community service projects described were deemed to be meaningful, relevant and exemplary.
At UTEP, more than 5,500 students participated in community service in 2011-12, including students in more than 150 academic courses that integrate community service with academic content. A large portion of the community service hours came from Project MOVE (Miner Opportunities for Volunteer Experiences), a day during the spring semester where more than 1,000 students volunteer to do community service projects that range from painting and grounds maintenance to working with children and seniors. The program, which just completed its fourth year, has attracted a growing number of volunteers and community organizations each year.
UTEP’s Mother-Daughter/Father-Son program in the College of Education is another strong contributor to the community service hours. The program encourages sixth-grade students and their parents to create a college-bound culture in their homes. About 80 UTEP student mentors spend volunteer hours planning and implementing activities for several hundred parent-child teams throughout the year.
The University’s strong connections to El Paso and the U.S.-Mexico border region position it well as an effective partner with federal, state, and local government agencies interested in developing the potential of the region. Students are regularly placed in service learning activities with agencies such as El Paso Veterans Administration Health Care System, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the State and County Health Departments, El Paso Police Department Victim Services Unit and local independent school districts.
The honor roll listing is the second community service recognition for UTEP in recent months. Community service is one of three criteria, along with social mobility and research production, considered in the annual college rankings put out by Washington Monthly magazine. UTEP ranked #12 overall in 2012 on the Washington Monthly list, between #11 Harvard and #13 Michigan.