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SFSU named a 'College with a Conscience'

July 29, 2005

Image of the front cover of "Colleges with a Conscience"San Francisco State's civic engagement and service learning programs are highlighted in the newly released "Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement" (Random House/Princeton Review Books). Geared toward prospective students, the book is a guide to the nation's most socially responsible colleges.

"We pride ourselves on being a civically engaged University," said President Robert A. Corrigan. "Our faculty and student body are committed to making positive contributions to both our surrounding communities and those around the globe. Community service is the hallmark of an SFSU education and with this latest recognition, we hope to bring an increasing number of civic-minded students to our campus."

SFSU has long been considered a leader in community service learning -- a teaching
method that incorporates academic study with volunteer work. "Colleges with a Conscience" singled out the campus for having one of the largest community-service learning programs in the nation. During the 2003-04 school year more than 7,000 SFSU students conducted volunteer work as part of their studies.

SFSU is also listed in the book as one-of-a-kind in its public acknowledgement of service: Students earn an extra course unit when they enroll in community-service learning classes, and their volunteer hours are listed on their official transcripts.

The new practice, spearheaded by the Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL), a program of the San Francisco Urban Institute, is believed to make SFSU the first college west of the Mississippi to include on transcripts student community volunteer work that is completed as part of their coursework. A student must perform a minimum of 20 hours per semester in courses designated by OCSL for the hours to be included on a transcript.

Perla Barrientos, OCSL director, pointed out that, in a competitive job market, more employers and graduate schools are seeking applicants with volunteer experience.

"The benefits for students are tremendous," said Barrientos. "It shows you can work with people and are willing to provide for your community at large."

Listing community service hours on student transcripts provides proof that students completed the amount of volunteer work that they claim on a resume and in interviews.

The Princeton Review, known for helping educate students on colleges and the admissions process, and Campus Compact, an organization committed to the public purposes of higher education, selected SFSU as a college with a conscience after an examination of more than 900 colleges and universities nationwide.

Robert Franek, vice president of publishing at Princeton Review, summed up the criteria for inclusion: "A college with a conscience has both an administration committed to social responsibility and a student body actively engaged in serving society. Education at these schools isn't only about private gain: it's about public good."

For more information: Random House, Inc.

-- Adrianne Bee


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Last modified July 29, 2005 by University Communications