Photo: Physical therapy students in South Texas work on family's house
Hardin-Simmons University has been named to The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Launched in 2006, the community service honor roll highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems. Participation also places more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.
The 2013 Honor Roll recipients were announced at the American Council on Education’s 95th Annual Meeting Leading Change, today, March 4, 2013, in Washington, DC.
A total of 690 higher education institutions were named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, with 27 of the universities and colleges from Texas.
Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, the Corporation for National and Community Service has administered the award since 2006.
“Communities are strengthened when we all come together, and we are encouraged that these institutions and their students have made service a priority,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “Civic engagement should be a key component of every student’s education experience. Through reaching out to meet the needs of their neighbors, these students are deepening their impact, strengthening our democracy and ultimately preparing themselves to be successful citizens.”
College students make a significant contribution to their communities through volunteering and service, according to the most recent Volunteering and Civic Life in America report. In 2012, 3.1 million college students dedicated more than 118 million hours of service across the country — a contribution valued at $2.5 billion.
Students at Hardin-Simmons University participated in about 50 service projects throughout the 2011-2012 school year where service to the community could be tracked and calculated.
Projects included The Student Success Seminar, in collaboration with College Heights Elementary School, where a class of 19 freshmen met with kindergarten-2nd graders each week to share a lesson coupled with an activity.
Lessons focused on one of Michael Josephson’s Six Pillars of Character. Each pillar was tied to an action the young students could apply to their day at school or home. The college students served as role models for the children, encouraging them to work hard in school and gain a desire to do well academically.
Another community service project was an HSU Physical Therapy Ministries program to help improve the lives of residents in Pueblo Los Palmas, Texas.
During a week-long mission trip, students performed free PT evaluations, treatments, and screenings on patients ranging from infancy to senior citizens. Residents took part in a comprehensive screening to assess blood pressure, body weight, heart rate, strength, flexibility, posture, ligament and muscle disorders, and gait deviations. When problems were found, treatment and a home exercise program were provided.
Daily health and exercise classes focused on prevention of low back pain and injuries, proper lifting, nutrition and health, and disease prevention.
Students also helped with several construction projects, including one young mother with four boys, who shared a mobile home with her sister. PT students added a bedroom to the home and renovated a bathroom with new flooring to prevent the toilet and sink to from falling through the floor. Fresh paint brightened the surroundings.
Students also help to improve the health, safety and standard of living for a family of seven by replacing walls in a bedroom that had allowed animals and unwanted pests to enter. Children’s bedrooms and a bath were painted, and wall murals added to provide smiles to the faces of the children.
CNCS manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll honors the nation’s leading higher education institutions and their students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through service. These are institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.
Texas colleges and universities that were honored include:
Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene, TX
Brookhaven College, Farmers Branch, TX
Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX
East Texas Baptist University, Marshall, TX
Kilgore College, Kilgore, TX
Lamar University Beaumont, TX
Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX
Rice University, Houston, TX
Southwestern University, Georgetown, TX
St. Edward’s University, Austin, TX
St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX
Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX
Texas A&M University Central Texas, Killeen, TX
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
Texas Lutheran University Seguin, TX
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
University of Houston, Houston, TX
University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX
University of Houston-Downtown, Houston, TX
University of North Texas, Denton, TX
University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX
University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX