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Service Learning Program Wins National Award

CCCC Service Learning Program Wins National Award

Collin College's service learning program has been named the winner of a national award from the Campus Compact National Center for Community Colleges.

In May, the college will receive the compact's Service Learning 2000 Collaboration Award for outstanding partnership with business and industry. Collin College was chosen for:

The quality of learning opportunities provided to students;

The contribution of both the college and its partners to community improvement;

The level of faculty involvement in the collaboration;

The program's potential to be replicated in other communities.

Service learning is a curriculum option in which a student fulfills classroom objectives by serving an organization outside the college. It is more than volunteer work because students must learn specific lessons assigned by their professors during their service.

The foundation for service learning at Collin College was laid in 1988, when Professor of Sociology Debbie White's students adopted the Samaritan Inn in McKinney. After Professor of Psychology Barbara Lusk brought the then-new service learning concept to her dean in 1995, the program began to grow at Collin COllege and an advisory board was formed in 1997. Under the leadership of then-President John Anthony, Vice President for Instruction Steve Ellis and Dean of Social Sciences Gary Hodge, the position of full-time coordinator was created last year. Since Regina Hughes filled that position in August, service learning has grown at Collin College to include 250 students and 45 professors working with 200 agencies.

The Campus Compact, an advocate for community colleges to sustain service learning as a national movement, will present the award at its national meeting, May 24-26, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"This is quite an honor for Collin College said President Cary Israel. "Kudos to Regina Hughes, Gary Hodge, Debbie White, Barbara Lusk and all the faculty who have made this program such a resounding success. Thanks also to the administrators, support staff and not-for-profit agencies. Most of all, thanks to the students for their quality participation."

Collin College serves more than 46,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.