The California State University (CSU) is the largest system of higher education in the nation, with 427,000 students across 23 campuses, nearly half of whom participate in some form of community service, ranging from volunteering during an alernative winter and spring break, to taking a service-learning class,* to doing research with nonprofit organizations on community-identified needs. Together, they contribute 32 million hours of service to their communities annually. Their motivation is clear – real world problems need real world solutions. CSU students can help.
For the past 15 years, the CSU Center for Community Engagement (CCE) has shown how service learning improves the lives of people all over California. If you value community service and want others to benefit, then please donate $15 in recognition of our 15th anniversary.
Spread the word and help support future students and the communities they serve.
FIFTEEN FOR FIFTEEN: Help Fuel Service Learning
In the video above, CSU students share the “small choices and efforts” they make that lead to big changes in the world. During the past 15 years, more than two million CSU students have given back to their communities and helped shape our world. Each contribution has a profound ripple effect. Two million acts of kindness lead to four million acts of generosity, which lead to six million acts of understanding.
Be a Part of the Ripple Effect. Please consider giving a gift from your heart of $5, $10 or $15 and help fuel the passion and dedication of another 2 million CSU students committed to being active and engaged members of our communities.
About Community Engagement in the California State University
CCE supports the ways in which students are enhancing their academic experience through service to their communities. We want you to join us in our campaign to support the programs and opportunities that are offered to CSU students participating in service-learning courses and other community service activities. The $15,000 we will raise will be made available as scholarships and grants to further support community engagement activities taking place throughout the CSU’s 23 campuses. Previous projects have included:
- Restoration efforts in the Gulf Coast. Thousands of CSU students have helped and continue to help with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. For example, for the past six years, CSU Channel Islands professor Sean Anderson and his students have made repeated trips to Louisiana, restoring wetlands and building sustainable food systems and community gardens. San José State Professor Scott Myers-Lipton and his students began a national movement to pass the Gulf Coast Civic Works Act, a federal bill to create 100,000 jobs for Gulf Coast residents and evacuees to rebuild their public infrastructure.
- Providing free income tax assistance. In 1971, CSU Northridge professor Gary Iskowitz created a program to provide local taxpayers with free tax return preparation by accounting students. Iskowitz’s effort grew into a national Internal Revenue Service program called Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). More than 40 years since VITA was founded, the CSU still plays an active role. The IRS reports that 275,000 returns were filed at California VITA locations last year—and thousands of them were filed by CSU students.Nearly every CSU campus facilitates a VITA program where business and accounting students provide no-cost advice and assistance to senior citizens, people with disabilities, and anyone with an annual income less than $50,000.
- Greening our campuses and communities. Through a variety of “green” engagement activities, CSU students and faculty have led the sustainability movement across California. CSU Chico students enrolled in Dr. Mark Stemen’s geography course began the “Take Back the Tap” campaign, resulting in the campus installing free purified water systems on the campus to replace the sale of water bottles. At San Francisco State, apparel design and merchandising students in Dr. Connie Ulasewicz’s class partnered with Goodwill Industries to design trendy new clothing from unwanted garments found at Goodwill stores. “They deconstructed pieces of clothing only to redesign and reconstruct it into another piece of clothing,” said Ulasewicz. “The project went hand in hand with Goodwill’s mission to help reconstruct people’s lives.”
To learn about service learning and community engagement across the California State University, please visit: http://www.calstate.edu/cce/. Here you will find student and faculty experiences shown through stories, photos and videos illustrating the impact of community engagement that extends beyond each of the 23 campuses.
Celebrating 15 years of innovation and growth, the CSU Center for Community Engagement advances the CSU’s commitment to serving the economic, public policy and social needs of California. Here are some ways we achieve this mission.
- CSU students contribute 32 million hours of community service annually to California’s communities, resulting in an economic impact of $697 million to the state.
- Some facts and figures about the CSU’s community engagement initiatives:
- Since 1998, the CSU has seen a 114% increase in service-learning. This represents partnerships with 2,300 community organizations, the availability of 2,600 service-learning courses for students, and 85,000 engaged students who contribute 1.2 million hours of service to their communities.
- Each year, the CSU designates 23% of Federal Work Study funds for community service placements, well above the national average of 14% and more than triple the minimum requirement.
- CSU’s community engagement programs help graduate diverse, highly skilled and socially responsible students. Five CSU campuses (Fresno, Fullerton, Northridge, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino) were named in the top 10 of Hispanic Service Institutions with the most PeaceCorps Volunteers in 2011.
- Investing in service learning not only enhances student learning and persistence to graduation, but provides a great return on investment. Annually, CSU service-learning offices bring in $3 from outside sources for every $1 invested by the state.
* Service learning is a dynamic experience that allows students to enhance their in-class learning through active participation in and reflection of, meaningful work performed in their community.