HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. (March 15, 2012) – For the third consecutive year, Northern Kentucky University’s commitment to community service and public engagement is receiving top honors. This week the Corporation for National and Community Service admitted NKU to the 2011 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for continuing to engage students, faculty and staff in meaningful service that achieves measurable results. NKU has been named to Honor Roll list five of the six years it has been presented.
One of the projects that was key to NKU’s designation was the Museum Without Walls project, which addresses the critical issue of the declining use of museums by classroom teachers, particularly for field trips because of costs and other pedagogical concerns. In this project, museums are brought to students via YouTube videos aligned with state curriculum and complete with an accompanying lesson guide. Each virtual trip takes a museum object and its story, and through active viewing, hands-on activity and reflection exercises, illuminates a subject under study.
The Museum Without Walls project was created within NKU’s Public History program by Professor Rebecca Bailey and funded with $9,500 from the university’s public engagement research pool. The first virtual field trip was completed in 2011. “The Way We Live” compares daily life in Ancient Rome and Cincinnati circa 1804 with today. The learning activity uses math and reflective writing to reinforce social studies.
Two other NKU initiatives that helped secure this year’s honor roll designation were the Mayerson Student Philanthropy Project and the KYOTE College Readiness Program
The Mayerson Project began in 1999 and in the years since has distributed over $634,385 to nonprofits, generally in grants of $1,000 to $2,500 each. The program is designed to incorporate the teaching of philanthropy and community stewardship into college courses across disciplines. NKU published a national handbook in 2010 to instruct other colleges and universities in the use of this powerful pedagogy. Six hundred copies of the handbook were published and distributed and a second printing is planned this summer to meet continuing demand.
The KYOTE project is a multifaceted collaboration between NKU and local high schools that facilitates college readiness in mathematics. The nationally recognized collaboration links placement testing, transitional courses in area high schools and development of transitional course materials. High schools participating in the NKU-based program require juniors who score below 19 on the mathematics section of the ACT to take a transitional algebra class. Eleven high schools participate.
The Honor Roll recognition also celebrates NKU’s overall commitment to service, including over 100 service-learning classes each academic year that partner with area nonprofits and thousands of NKU students who, during the course of the semester, volunteer in the community.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which has administered the Honor Roll since 2006, is a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America programs. It also leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. This year the corporation admitted 641 colleges and universities to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for their impact on issues from literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.