NIU has been awarded the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll award for the sixth time.
This honor is awarded to universities and colleges around the country that set the example in civic engagement by creating meaningful and innovative community service opportunities for their students.
Eligibility for this award is based on an institution’s ability to prove its commitment to community service. This commitment is evaluated using the institution’s mission statement, knowledge of how it supports staff who coordinate community service and service-learning opportunities, the degree of innovation seen in the applicant’s service projects, as well as the types of incentives provided to students to participate in community service.
NIU faculty and staff helped meet these criteria in a variety of ways through dedication, leadership and collaboration with numerous offices on campus. NIU students played a role by providing hours upon hours of service work during their valuable free time.
For example, the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning’s Huskie Service Scholars allows students to earn a tuition waiver for providing 300 hours of community service to the University. The office also coordinates service-learning opportunities for students.
Student Involvement & Leadership Development hosted NIU Cares Day, its annual community-wide day of service involving more than 1,000 students and more than 80 community organizations, and also helped implement the “Saturday of Service” initiative during incoming students’ “Welcome Days” event.
Finally, one of NIU’s most recent accomplishments – the creation and implementation of the Community Leadership and Civic Engagement major – has set the bar for many neighboring institutions. The Center for Non-governmental Organization Leadership and Development (NGOLD) spearheaded the initiative.
However, Student Affairs leaders are quick to point out, none of these programs would be possible without the collaboration of NIU employees and the interest of civic-minded NIU students.