Miami University, Oxford, OH
Special Focus: Early Childhood Education
Chartered in 1809, Miami University is deeply rooted in the community. Its mission is to empower students, faculty, and staff to become engaged citizens who use their knowledge and skills with integrity and compassion to improve the future of our global society. Putting this mission into action, the university commits human and financial resources to support community-identified initiatives that create meaningful impact for the community and campus.
A 10-year partnership with the Talawanda School District anchors Miami University’s work in early childhood education. The partnership engages every division of the University and every school in the district. University students tutor and mentor 600 children through Adopt-a-School, America Reads, and America Counts programs. During the 2010-2011 academic year, more than 1400 Miami students volunteered for these programs, saving the school district an estimated $1.2 million. Through this partnership, Miami faculty and graduate students host a “Science Week” for more than 1000 Talawanda students in campus laboratories.
The Butler County Success Program pairs university faculty and students with 15 school-community liaisons to help eliminate barriers to learning by building bridges between home, school, and community to improve success and self-reliance. Liaisons meet with high-needs families in their home and at local community agencies. Miami University faculty and students assist liaisons in their work with children and families as well as gather and analyze data to evaluate the program.
Miami is also training the next generation of teachers through its Urban Teaching Cohort (UTC) program. Miami’s UTC students are immersed over a three-year period in high needs schools and community-based organizations serving high-needs populations. The experience leads many Miami grads to choose to live and student teach in the communities in which they were immersed.
"We are striving to [put] Miami at the forefront of a national effort to engage students in ways that help the community and at the same time increase their academic success," said David Hodge, President of the University. Through its Office of Community Engagement and Service, Miami University has institutionalized service-learning and grown its course offerings in service-learning to 75, with at least one service-learning course offered in every division of the University. Miami also developed a web-based training course for faculty on incorporating service-learning into the curriculum.
*The estimated dollar value of volunteer time for 2010 is $21.36 per hour according to the Independent Sector.