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Press Release for Friday, December 12, 2014

UNF Lands Spot on President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Media Contact: Joanna Norris, Director
Department of Public Relations
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the highest federal recognition an institution can receive for its commitment to community, service-learning and civic engagement.

This is the third consecutive year UNF has received this honor and the fourth national award the University has received for its community engagement efforts. In 2010, UNF received the prestigious Community Engaged University designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which runs through 2020.

“It’s exciting to see so many students and faculty working on projects and issues of importance to the greater Jacksonville community,” said Mark Falbo, director of UNF’s Center for Community-Based Learning. “Whether it’s through outreach or research, our students not only learn how to apply their knowledge in real-world situations, but they learn that with the privilege of a university degree also comes the responsibility to make a difference in our community.”

The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education recently honored the nation’s leading colleges and universities, as well as students, faculty and staff for their commitment to bettering their communities through community service and service learning. More than 700 schools were named to the Honor Roll.

UNF has adopted community-based transformational learning as the focus of the University’s quality improvement efforts. As a result, numerous departments have revised their curricula and more than 100 full-time faculty members have redesigned courses to include forms of community-based learning. UNF students also benefit because they are learning in real, authentic situations that meet the needs of Jacksonville’s schools, businesses and neighborhoods.

For example, UNF’s School of Engineering faculty and students worked with 40 different community groups and schools impacting more than 2,700 students in 16 Jacksonville schools and after-school programs in a program titled FIRST LEGO leagues. As part of this international program, UNF students worked with youth ages 9 to14 to design, build and program robots. Area youth participated in a final competition where their robots were put through real-world challenges.

CNCS oversees the Honor Roll, in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school's commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.