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CCCCD Recognized For Service-Learning And Civic Engagement Programs



CCCCD Recognized For Service-Learning And Civic Engagement Programs

Feb. 13, 2003 - National Campus Compact recently announced that Collin County Community College District (CCCCD) would be honored in an upcoming monograph on "exemplary practices related to civic engagement." The group, a coalition of 860 college and university presidents committed to the civic purposes of higher education, cited only 20 of the nation's 1,200 community colleges in this publication, and CCCCD is the only Texas college to be included.

"This is a great honor for our students and our college, and it is a testament to the dedication of the students, board of trustees, the faculty and staff," said Cary Israel, president of CCCCD. "Civic engagement is an important element of higher education because it drives home the impact each individual can have on society. It is critical to instill in students the commitment to community early-on, so they will be great leaders and thinkers as well as great scholars."

Service-learning is a unique teaching/learning method that integrates public and community service as a key part of coursework. Currently, the CCCCD Service Learning Program partners with more than 200 non-profit organizations, and students have participated in thousands of service learning projects that address community needs. Examples include designing interactive video games for the Plano Balloon Festival, creating websites for nonprofit organizations, tutoring at-risk children at local elementary and middle schools, providing companionship for nursing home residents, conducting voter registration drives, and mentoring residents at area youth shelters.

"We are very privileged to be included with this group of highly regarded educational institutions that have been recognized for their excellence in service learning and civic engagement efforts," said Regina Hughes, coordinator of CCCCD Service Learning. "We consider ourselves a responsive community partner and, through this reciprocal relationship, our students gain more than they give. As a result, everyone benefits."

The Texas Campus Compact was established in 2000 when 22 college and university presidents, accompanied by Secretary of State Colin Powell, signed the "Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Texas Higher Education." Cary A. Israel, CCCCD president, is one of the founding members of the state Compact and currently serves as vice-chair.

Research in higher education indicates that integrating service learning into the traditional class lecture promotes active learning, develops civic responsibility, enhances leadership skills, increases awareness of community needs, and aides in student retention.

The National Campus Compact, in partnership with The American Association of Community Colleges, conducted the "Survey of Community College Engagement" which led to CCCCD's inclusion in the monograph. The study is funded through a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, entitled "Educating the Next Generation of Active Citizens: A Strategy for Deepening Civic Engagement in American Higher Education."

Collin County Community College District serves more than 37,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs in a wide range of disciplines. In addition, the CCCCD is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development.

For more information, contact Marcy Cadena Smith at mcsmith@ccccd.edu or 972.758.3896.