Frostburg State University has been honored as a national model for civic and community service programs by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) as part of its Public Engagement Project. FSU was one of only six institutions selected nationally as a high performer in public engagement activities from a possible 400 AASCU colleges and universities.
"It was an honor to be chosen. We always enjoy sharing the impact our national service, service-learning and student volunteerism programs have in
our community," said Cherie Krug, director of FSU's Center for Volunteerism and National Programs/AmeriCorps.
As part of its Public Engagement Project, AASCU hired the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) of Boulder, Colo., to determine the best practices of pubic engagement among member institutions. Consultants at NCHEMS considered such factors as the use of applied research for regional development, financial and other support for faculty and staff engaged in facilitating service-learning activities, interdisciplinary course offerings related to community service and strong institutional support.
"The data will be used to describe a prototype institution for public engagement and will be included in a final report to the Kellogg Foundation," said Maurice Williams, AASCU's program manager for public engagement and economic outreach. "Public engagement has long been a core value of AASCU institutions….We have considerable resources to contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of our regions. In addition, our connections through partnerships are powerful vehicles to enact our mission to teaching, research and outreach for faculty and students with the real world and to bring knowledge in service to society."
Paula R. Schild, a research assistant from NCHEMS, performed site visits to FSU, Arizona State University West, Kennesaw State University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
At FSU, Schild was impressed by FSU President Dr. Catherine Gira's personal commitment to community service.
"Support from the top is so important," she said. "She made it happen by facilitating the necessary bureaucratic policies and procedures."
Schild also noted the enthusiasm and engagement of the University community as a whole in creating, maintaining and expanding service-learning activities at FSU. She cited the Allen HallSTARS! learning community experience as a model, with its problem-based, multidisciplinary approach to service learning, as well as FSU's AmeriCorps, Center for Volunteerism and the new Volunteer Center located at the County United Way offices in Cumberland.
For more information about FSU's service-learning activities, contact Cherie Krug at (301) 687-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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