Schools are recognized based on a number of 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 addition, the impact of the service performed by the institution’s faculty, staff, and students is weighed significantly when the applications are reviewed.
Bryn Mawr’s application highlighted nine Civic Engagement Office programs. Among the programs were:
- Praxis Independent Study (PIS) – PIS courses link theory, action, and reflection, offering students high quality, experiential learning opportunities that combine field experience, reflective observation, abstract analysis & active experimentation. Praxis courses broaden the scope of learning, enabling students to build connections in off-campus communities, participate in projects that are useful to the organizations with which they are engaged, and develop competencies in areas related to their career interests, personal and civic development. At the core of each PIS is an 8-10 hr/wk field experience; most field experiences are in the non-profit or public sector, in areas such as health, education, social welfare, community development and the arts.
- Community Based Work Study Program (CBWS) – CWBS is designed to give undergraduate students the opportunity to earn their financial aid awards (federal work-study allotments) through employment at off-campus community based organizations, public agencies, and schools. The program provides students with the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to local organizations through their work while also learning about community issues, developing professional skills, and providing direct service. Students are matched with an organization (where they will work 8-12 hours per week) based on where they will be the most effective and have the best learning experience according to their own goals.
- Saturdays of Service – The Saturdays of Service program provides students with the opportunity to participate in one-day off-campus service events. Using our student leadership model, two student coordinators are supervised by a full-time staff member and organize a minimum of 10 off-campus service events through nonprofits such as St. Peter’s Food Cupboard, the Special Olympics of Montgomery County, and Waste Watchers, on a monthly basis throughout the academic year.
“I am delighted that the contributions of Bryn Mawr College's students, staff, faculty and community partners was recognized again this year by the Corporation for National Service. Every year when we fill out the annual application, we are struck by the dedication of our College community to engaging in direct service, advocacy, and activism. Being recognized on the President's Honor Roll both validates the work we are doing and inspires us to continue growing and developing in new ways,” says Ellie Esmond, director of Service and Leadership Programs at LILAC.
Students interested in any of the above programs can stop by the Civic Engagement Office for more information.
To see all of the 2015 Honor Roll and Presidential winners, click here.