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College Awarded for Civic Engagement Initiatives

February 22, 2008 - Collin College was named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the second straight year.

The recognition was given by the Corporation for National and Community Service and honors a number of colleges and universities from around the nation.

"We are pleased to be recognized for our civic engagement contributions for a second year and equally honored to be included among this distinguished group of higher education colleagues," Regina Hughes, director of the Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement, said.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness 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.

Collin College created the Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement in 2004 in an effort to foster "intellectual inquiry through collaborative actions focusing on global, national and local issues that enrich student learning, uphold the civic purposes of higher education and build stronger communities."

Accomplishments and programs for the Center include:

* The Center was named one of the "16 Institutions to Watch" by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Foundation for exemplary practices and emerging trends in civic engagement.

* Stemming from the Center's 2007-08 Book-in-Common program, psychology students at the Preston Ridge Campus in Frisco started Funds for Feet, a program aimed at raising money for prosthetic limbs for those injured by landmines in Cambodia. About $1,100 was raised during a November event.

* The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society teamed with Keep Plano Beautiful for Senior Spruce Up, where volunteers cleaned and worked in the yards of senior citizens and the disabled.

* The Student Leadership Academy I class volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. Students helped build homes and raise money for a deserving family.

* Students from the Student Leadership Academy class II travelled to Austin on Community College Day to express their concerns to lawmakers about the rising cost of textbooks. Students also greeted returning soldiers at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

* The award-winning League for United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) chapter sponsored a new chapter of the organization at Frisco Centennial High School. Students also participated in the Adopt-a-Street program, Young Readers Club at a local elementary school, the Youth Leadership Academy and babysitting services for parents taking night classes at a local library.

"There is no question that the universities and colleges who have made an effort to participate and win the Honor Roll award are themselves being rewarded," said American Council on Education President David Ward. "Earning this distinction is not easy. But now each of these schools will be able to wear this award like a badge of honor."

The Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

"Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce," U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said. "We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country."

For more information, contact Hughes at 972.881.5900 or e-mail rhughes@collin.edu.

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.