The Corporation for National and Community Service named the University of Houston-Downtown to its 2010 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, recognizing its outreach efforts in three areas as well as the estimated 34,200 hours UHD students devoted to community service.
CNCS chooses honorees based on factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, student participation, service incentives and academic service-learning courses. The award is for the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2010.
UHD is among 21 colleges and universities in Texas and more than 640 throughout the country to receive Honor Roll recognition for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement. CNCS administers the award, which is the highest federal recognition a university or college can receive for such initiatives.
"Community engagement is an integral component of UHD's mission," said Jean DeWitt, UHD's Director of Community Engagement. "Being recognized nationally two years in a row affirms UHD's commitment to the community and is something special. It's important to our faculty and students that we make a difference in the community around us."
UHD President Bill Flores said, "UHD is located in the heart of Houston's downtown. Any urban university, especially one like the University of Houston-Downtown, has to be committed to outreach. Outreach is about building relationships and meeting the needs of the diverse communities we serve. Making the Honor Roll again tells me we're moving in the right direction."
UHD's application cited its collaboration with Crime Stoppers of Houston, the impact of UHD's Community Involvement Center, and the work of the Scholars Academy Pay It Forward Project.
UHD students worked with Crime Stoppers to present anti-crime programs at elementary, middle and high schools, neighborhood watch programs, churches and apartment buildings throughout the city. UHD's Community Involvement Center serves as a clearinghouse for community service opportunities between area agencies and campus organizations, students and UHD staff and faculty. The center has coordinated activities ranging from blood drives to voter registration. The Scholars Academy supports 150 students with scholarships and mentoring each year. The Pay It Forward Project challenged students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics academy program to give back to the community through service, paving the way for future students to follow. Academy students have volunteered to help with projects ranging from environmental clean ups to serving meals to the homeless.
The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
For more information about the University of Houston-Downtown, its programs, admission and financial aid, visit the website www.uhd.edu.