Loyola named Top School for Service for post-graduate service efforts
| By Molly Robey
The Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN) has named Loyola University Maryland a Top School for Service, including Loyola as one of only seven universities in the Mid-Atlantic to receive this achievement.
Twenty-eight institutions have been named as part of the CVN’s National Volunteer Week initiative.
The award highlights the work by Loyola’s office of Campus Ministry, the Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ), and the Career Services to offer service-learning opportunities and support young adults by advocating for post-graduate service programs.
“Being recognized as one of the Catholic Volunteer Network’s Top Schools for Service says so much about how Loyola lives its mission,” said Pat Cassidy, assistant director of immersion programs. “Loyola’s partnerships with resident leaders and community organizations throughout York Road and Baltimore City inform our students’ understanding of community engagement and civic responsibility. The professional experience and the personal and spiritual growth that Loyola graduates encounter through post-graduate service builds upon the academic, social, and civic learning they gain while at Loyola. It’s a real honor to be recognized for the work that so many different individuals and departments across our university contribute towards supporting student learning and growth through engagement with community.”
In fall 2019, CCSJ, Campus Ministry, and Career Services hosted the Mission-Centered Service and Employment Fair, which included roughly 25 post-graduate service organizations, as well as nonprofit organizations who were recruiting for internship and full-time employment opportunities.
“Our students who pursue community involvement and post-college service demonstrate a deep commitment to making a difference in the world,” said Jim Dickinson, Ph.D., assistant vice president of career services. “This recognition is well-deserved for Loyola faculty and administrators who work to instill that value and for the many, many students who choose to act on it.”
The Top School for Service recognition is awarded to institutions who share the CVN vision. It focuses on a combination of factors, including successful post-grad service events, as well as a CVN Volunteer Survey, in which volunteers are asked to share their experiences and which undergraduate schools they attended. They also reflect on which campus ministers, service-learning staff, and other campus staff have demonstrated excellence in collaboration with the CVN.
“For CVN, it would be impossible to narrow down our Top Schools for Service to a list of 10, or even 20,” said Mike McCormick, outreach coordinator at the Catholic Volunteer Network. “Considering there are 150 volunteer programs within our network—with more than 28,000 volunteers participating in service in 2018—that means hundreds of private, public, and religious universities represented among our volunteers. Even within this large field, Loyola University Maryland had demonstrated superior commitment to post-grad service, which we are pleased to recognize with this honor.”
Service-learning courses and other forms of community-engaged teaching at Loyola provide students with opportunities to make contact with the Baltimore community, collaborate and share knowledge, and reflect on their experiences. Service-learning integrates community service with academic coursework, making community service, in effect, an additional textbook in the class. Community partners become co-educators, teaching students about community, diversity, justice, and social responsibility, and faculty integrate these lessons with their course aims, aided by ongoing personal and in-class reflection activities. Learn more about service-learning at Loyola on the CCSJ site.
Loyola’s Top School for Service achievement was announced in a April 23, 2020, blog post by CVN.