North Carolina State University
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Special Focus: General Community Service
North Carolina State University (NCSU) aims to transform lives, improve the human condition and create positive social change through partnerships with communities, business and government. Community engagement and partnership cultivation is an expectation of all college and university departments. An example of that expectation in action is the 240,000 youth who are served by 25,000 volunteers through a partnership of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service, and the 4-H Development program.
Many industries in North Carolina, including the agricultural and financial sectors, have suffered due to the economic downturn. Nationally, North Carolina also ranked in the bottom 11 states for literacy in 2009. These factors contributed to the University’s resolve to address poverty and lack of education not only in its surrounding community, but across the entire state through the NC Cooperative Extension Services (NCCES) with a $186 million budget for extension and engagement programming in 2010-2011.
With a large number of military families in the community, NCSU became involved with Project YES (Youth Extension Services), a national program engaging college students as interns to work with children who have one or more family members deployed. Interns travel to military events to deliver programs to children on career goals, leadership, and life skills. In 2010-2011, NCSU interns worked with 894 military children in 21 states.
In its seventh year at NCSU, the Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies (HELPS) program works to improve children’s reading comprehension. College students devise research-based and user-friendly strategies for reading instruction. In the 2010-2011 academic year, University students served 10,500 hours working with 250 elementary-aged students, each of whom received 600 minutes of additional reading instruction over the course of the year. Research studies show that HELPS significantly improves children’s reading.
The Parks, Recreation, & Tourism Management program at North Carolina State is committed to incorporating community engagement throughout its curriculum. The program’s 600 plus undergraduate students provide recreation programs for youth, families, and seniors. NCSU students generated data and partnered with community agencies to design and deliver recreation programs and tutoring for youth, social events for seniors and families, and an intergenerational community gardening project.
The NCSU commitment to service can be seen in the 330,000 service hours performed by more than 21,000 students during the 2010-2011 academic year.
*The estimated dollar value of volunteer time for 2010 is $21.36 per hour according to the Independent Sector.