The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve. “Receiving this national recognition for exemplary community service is an affirmation of everyone at Norwalk Community College who works to create linkages with the surrounding community,” said Pamela Edington, Ed.D., NCC Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs.
“Our institutional commitment to community engagement is clear in our mission and strategic plan, but it is the students, staff, and faculty of NCC who must bring our commitment to life through service to others.
This recognition honors their daily work.” The award was announced on March 4, 2013 at the American Council on Education’s 95th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. NCC was one of only three community colleges in Connecticut to receive the 2013 award and has the distinction of being a three-time honoree; NCC also achieved President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll distinction in 2012 and 2010. In 2010, NCC also was one of only 15 community colleges nationwide to receive the Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement.
NCC encourages students to give back to the community in meaningful ways. The college’s Service-Learning program provides an opportunity to earn college credits while volunteering at local agencies and community organizations.
Several hundred students participate annually in community-based experiences that deepen their academic and civic learning. NCC students have contributed more than 25,000 hours to community agencies and assisted them with outreach and direct service to children, seniors and families.
Examples of NCC’s community partnerships include a community based after-school program at NCC for at-risk middle school students, an independent Lifetime Learners organization that offers non-credit course for seniors at NCC, and an Off Campus at Meadow Ridge program that offers non-credit courses at a senior residence in Redding.
Students in the NCC nursing, allied health, business, human services, early childhood education and hospitality management programs are involved in the community through internships, field experiences and clinical rotations. NCC has adopted a local elementary school and works directly with the principal to place Service-Learning students there.
NCC students demonstrate their compassion for others by organizing fundraisers and collective drives to support the needy at home and abroad.
Last year, an alliance of 40 student clubs spent more than a month collecting non-perishable food, books, toys and clothing for a Day of Thanks donation to 11 area organizations.
NCC students volunteer at homeless shelters and food pantries, tutor children, walk miles in the New York City AIDS Walk, and send care packages to U.S. military personnel serving abroad. NCC accounting students, who pass IRS qualifying exams, prepare more than 300 tax returns annually for low-income residents through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at NCC.
“Congratulations to Norwalk Community College, its faculty and students for its commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Through this work, institutions of higher education are helping improve their local communities and create a new generation of leaders by challenging students to go beyond the traditional college experience and solve local challenges.” The Corporation for National and Community Service manages the Honor Roll program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.