Lone Star College-Tomball has received national recognition for its service-learning program, earning a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This is the second time the college has been selected for inclusion.
Launched in 2006, the honor roll annually recognizes institutions of higher education for their commitment to and achievement in community service.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the honor roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice. Thousands of students on campuses throughout the country joined faculty to develop innovative programs and projects to meet local needs using skills gained in their classroom.
“Community colleges historically have been focused on creating effective citizens,” said Clark Friesen, Speech Professor and Service-Learning Coordinator at LSC-Tomball. “Service-learning offers faculty a way of teaching students which fosters their connection to the community. In any given semester, hundreds of our students are preserving wetlands, mentoring students, caring for the elderly or working to reduce poverty.”
Friesen estimates that since 2002-2003, when he began tracking student hours, the college has amassed from $850,000 to $900,000 in volunteer service value to the community.
"It's difficult to precisely identify how much actual value our students have given to the community through service-learning,” he said. “Some faculty don't report their students' projects as service-learning, Some students serve more than what is required for their class."
Friesen suggests that the $1 million threshold will be crossed sometime in 2010. "We have a core of faculty who send their students into the community every semester. They make a positive impact in areas like health care, the environment, education, emergency response, and poverty reduction. I am certain that trend will continue into the foreseeable future.”
LSC-Tomball students and faculty logged more than 19,000 hours of community service in 2009 in various projects such as the following:
- Students in Brandon Lowery's biology courses in cooperation with the Eco student organization spent time planting native trees and removing invasive plant/tree species from the wetland area adjacent to campus.
- Students in Tomball’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program partnered with a design course at LSC-Montgomery, which was also named to the Higher Education Community Service Honor roll, to develop workable living spaces for senior citizens in our local community.
- Students in Carolos Aguilar's Computer Information Technology courses developed posters and other promotional material for a museum in Mexico as part of an international service-learning project. The museum had little or no funding to promote its exhibitions
- Students in Mary Ann Jackson's education courses serve in Tomball and Aldine schools to provide student teaching assistance
LSC-Tomball is located at 30555 Tomball Parkway/SH 249. For information about the college or any of its programs go to LoneStar.edu/tomball or call 281-351-3300.
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris, and LSC-Tomball, six centers, LSC-University Center, LSC-University Park, Lone Star Corporate College, and LSC-Online. With more than 62,000 students in credit classes this spring, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and the second largest community college system in Texas. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.