News & Events
MHC Named to President’s Service Honor Roll
For the second consecutive year, Mars Hill College has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Mars Hill has received the distinction four times since the Honor Roll was launched in 2006.
The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll annually recognizes institutions of higher education across the nation for their commitment to and achievement in community service. The President’s Honor Roll increases the public’s awareness of the contributions that colleges and their students make to local communities and the nation as a whole.
The Corporation for National and Community Service announces the annual Honor Roll award recipients, recognizing more than 600 colleges and universities for exemplary, innovative, and effective community service programs. The corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovation 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.
According to Travis Proffitt, director of LifeWorks at Mars Hill College, the President’s Service Honor Roll is an important distinction for colleges and universities because it showcases institutions that are answering the important call of exploring societies’ biggest needs, both in and out of the classroom.
“Institutions of higher education have a responsibility to be good neighbors, thoughtful allies, and resources for our communities,” Proffitt said. “We also have a responsibility to understand our communities and neighbors as rich in resources as well, as co-educators for our students who are engaging in service work. When students engage in community-based service work many things happen: they gain a deeper sense of ownership and place, they gain invaluable ‘real world’ experiences that better prepare them for graduate school or the workforce, and most importantly they develop an understanding of their role in making communities safe, healthy, and just places for all people.”
Approximately 600 students at Mars Hill College were involved in service projects off-campus during the 2010-11 academic year involving about 50 community partner organizations in Madison and Buncombe counties. In addition to regular volunteerism on the part of individual students, various planned events during the year — such as MHC’s “Day of Caring,” last fall and the “Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service” in January — provided opportunities for students to engage in service activities. In addition to these opportunities in the community, hundreds of MHC students participated in campus-based programs to raise money or awareness to address significant social issues such as hunger, illegal drug use, or bullying.
Additionally, Mars Hill College is a host campus for the Bonner Scholarship, through which students receive scholarship monies in exchange for an ongoing, demonstrated commitment to community service. Bonner scholars completed nearly 16,000 hours of service in the community this past year.
According to Proffitt, these service experiences are not just important for the campus culture. Rather, they are an integral part of a healthy character-building educational experience. “Students come to understand they can have a tremendous impact on the lives of others NOW and in their years to come. Through the many service offerings at MHC, we hope to give students as many opportunities as possible to develop those understandings of themselves and the world around them,” he said.