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Feature

A University student helps two children with a project.

On the Twin Cities campus, the Career and Community Learning Center helps develop service-learning courses and guides students to find volunteer work that matches their interests.

U ranked among most socially responsible colleges

From the University News Service

Published on June 25, 2005

Colleges with a Conscience, a new book published by the Princeton Review, recognizes the University of Minnesota for providing its students with strong programs in service-learning and community involvement.

Due in bookstores later this month, the Colleges with a Conscience guidebook lists 81 colleges and universities nationwide that it considers the most socially responsible. The University of Minnesota appears alongside Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and the University of California, Berkeley, as well as three other Minnesota institutions of higher learning--Augsburg College, Macalester College, and Metropolitan State University.

Connected on all campuses

The University's presence in different communities of various sizes makes it an ideal place for civic engagement and service-learning. Here is a brief snapshot of acitivities on outstate campuses.

On the Morris campus, students are helping rural communities plan development projects through the Center for Small Towns. Two major civic engagement projects on the Duluth campus--the Darland Connection and Students Engaged in Rewarding Volunteer Experiences--have more than 600 student participants each semester. And the Service Learning Center on the Crookston campus was selected as one of six finalists for the 2004 Minnesota Carter Partnership Award.

--from 2004 University Annual Report

"It says a lot about the Twin Cities that four local schools are included in the book," says Carl Brandt, director of the University's Career and Community Learning Center. "It's great for the University, and particularly for our students, to be recognized for public service."

The Career and Community Learning Center is responsible for much of the University's community programming on the Twin Cities campus. It helps develop service-learning courses and guides students to find volunteer work that matches their interests. And beginning this fall, its new Community Engagement Scholars Program will mark the first time students will be eligible to receive official academic recognition for public service.

"This new program, along with our long-standing community-involvement efforts, are what landed the University in the book. We're very proud of our students for giving back to the community," Brandt says.

According to Campus Compact (a coalition of college and university presidents), which collaborated with the Princeton Review to evaluate nearly 1,000 colleges and universities for the book, the following criteria were used to assess each school: admissions practices and scholarships that reward community service; support for service-learning programs; student activism and student voice in school governance; and level of social engagement of the student body. Only four-year institutions were considered.