College Receives Award for Service

Published on: March 03, 2008

The Corporation for National and Community Service has named Lone Star College-Tomball to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth.

Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees for the award were chosen based on a series of selection factors including scope and innovativeness of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

"Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce," said U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. "We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country."

Service learning - a teaching method that combines community service with academic instruction - involves students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing academic skills, a sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community, says LSC-Tomball Service Learning Program Coordinator and Professor Clark Friesen.

"Service-learning is a widely utilized teaching method at LSC-Tomball and throughout the Lone Star College System," he said. "Faculty members from disciplines including education, psychology, history, computer science, speech, occupational therapy, nursing, government and biology have given students the option to make their education count for something more than a grade on their transcript." 

Hundreds of LSC-Tomball students annually choose to serve community needs while learning practical skills, developing their self-esteem, and expanding their sense of place in the community, said Friesen.  The program has made significant contributions to several local schools, nonprofit organizations and community efforts including participation in mentoring and rehabilitation programs, student teaching, and poverty reduction efforts. 

"Our students have also recently contributed to the Tomball's Promise youth development program as well as the Centennial Celebration video project," said Friesen.  Currently, LSC-Tomball is the recipient of a three-year sub-grant from Learn and Serve America through the Community College National Center for Community Engagement to develop local emergency response and homeland security service-learning projects. 

The Honor Roll recognition program is jointly sponsored by the Corporation, through the Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. In total, only 528 schools were recognized nationwide.  A full list of honorees is available at www.nationalservice.gov/honorroll.

"There is no question that the universities and colleges who have made an effort to participate and win the Honor Roll award are themselves being rewarded," said American Council on Education President David Ward.  "Earning this distinction is not easy.  But now each of these schools will be able to wear this award like a badge of honor."

Lone Star College-Tomball is located at 30555 Tomball Parkway in Tomball.

The Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and Lone Star College-University Center. With 49,250 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. To learn more, visit www.lonestar.edu.