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UCR Honored for Community Service


UC Riverside Wins National Honor for Service

The campus is named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

(May 19, 2011)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside students volunteered more than 2.5 million hours in the Inland region last year, earning the university a place on the national 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

This marks the first year that UCR was recognized as one of the nation’s best colleges and universities in promoting community service. The honor roll is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency.

“UC Riverside has an abiding institutional commitment to community service, one that is deeply rooted in our tradition as a land grant public research university,” Chancellor Timothy P. White said. “Community service is woven into the fabric of UCR’s mission. We encourage and support projects that benefit and involve the community, while teaching students things they would not learn in the classroom.”

Faculty merit and promotion policies encourage public service as well, he noted.

Well over half of UCR undergraduates participate in community service projects that include tutoring, mentoring, serving food, fundraising and community cleanup efforts. The university, which had a fall 2010 enrollment of 20,746, has 374 registered student organizations with 11,427 members, and many of these groups are devoted to community service.

“These numbers are even more remarkable given that UCR undergraduates generally do not come from affluence and have competing work obligations,” said James Sandoval, vice chancellor for student affairs. Nearly half of UCR undergraduates qualify for federal Pell Grants for low-income students. “Our students understand the sacrifices their families and communities have made to get them here, and they are committed to giving back to the community.”

Among the community service projects for which the Honor Roll recognized UC Riverside are:

• University Eastside Community Collaborative, a longstanding partnership between UCR, the city of Riverside and the Riverside Unified School District for at-risk youth in the city’s Eastside neighborhood. Eighty university students tutored 672 K-12 youth in the after-school program, helping to improve state test scores in 80 percent of the pupils; mentored 169 youth; and recruited an additional 213 volunteers to help in various community service events ranging from community cleanup days to feeding families in need.

• ALPHA Center, a partnership between UCR and 13 unified school districts. The center’s goals are: to enhance undergraduates’ community consciousness; increase the college readiness of underrepresented students in a region that lags significantly behind the rest of California in the rate of high school graduates who go on to college: and develop teacher best practices for improving student performance in mathematics and motivation for college. The center impacts 140 teachers and 1,300 students directly, and another 21,000 students indirectly.

• Undergraduate Research in the Community, a program that offers structured support for undergraduates and faculty interested in community-based research projects. In the program’s first year, 58 undergraduates collaborated with more than 25 community partners on 19 research projects that included organizing data-collection methods for a local free health clinic and food pantry, collecting accurate demographic data for dental service grants, supporting local nonprofit agencies’ social media and Web needs, assessing best practices for serving the homeless, and developing self-defense courses at youth centers.

• Early Academic Outreach Program, the largest and most comprehensive UC academic preparation program. Nine faculty and staff members devoted 14,000 hours to mentor 3,000 students in the program that helps students at 25 high schools with historically low college-going rates prepare for college. Students participated in academic enrichment and test preparation activities, received ongoing academic advising, and participated in events designed to increase their “college knowledge” such as campus tours, summer academies and summer writing institutes.

• GEAR UP, a federal program designed to increase the college-going rate of low-income students. Since 2008 UCR has administered a GEAR UP grant in partnership with the Pomona Unified School District, the city of Pomona and the Pomona Youth and Family Master Plan. Two students and five faculty and staff members tutored and mentored 1,300 middle and high school students, providing academic support and information about college and financial aid.

• TRIO: Upward Bound Classic and Educational Talent Search, federally funded outreach and student services programs that identify and provide services to students who are low-income and often first-generation college students. Upward Bound serves disadvantaged students at Perris, Rubidoux, Moreno Valley, Banning and Beaumont high schools. TRIO programs provide services such as academic advising, tutoring, summer programs and campus tours to 725 students from 15 area middle and high schools.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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