2013 Honor Roll

Community Service at The Ohio State University: Honor Roll 2013 

This page recognizes outstanding service-learning and community service by Ohio State students, faculty, and staff. The following stories were gathered as part of Ohio State’s application for the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Our Year in Service (Printable PDF)

Service in Academic Year 2011-2012*

25,718 students participated in a service or civic engagement activity

  • 13,464 (52%) participated through a Student Life program
  • 2,938 (12%) participated through service-learning
  • 9,316 (36%) participated through programs at their college or other university-based service opportunities

7,188 students contributed service for over 20 hours per academic term

  • 2,552 (35%) from individual college programs
  • 2,486 (34%) contributed service through Student Life programs
  • 955 (13%) contributed service through the Wexner Medical Center

1,144,592 hours of service were completed by OSU students in 2011-2012

  • 359,125 (31%) from individual college programs
  • 306,800 (26%) from the College of Social Work
  • 159,035 (14%) from Student Life programs

For every student who has participated in service, there’s over 40 hours of service, with 27% of students contributing 20 hours or more. In total, the hours of service contributed equal the work hours of 572 full time employees for a full year!

*Numbers are not exact and should be taken as estimates. For more information about this data, please contact the Service-Learning Initiative at slearning@osu.edu.

Ohio State’s Impact in the Community

Whenever Ohio State students, faculty and staff engage with service, there’s a big impact. Here are six projects that make a difference in our community and beyond:

Bringing Learning to Life (80 public school teachers participated, more than 800 service hours, over 16,000 individuals served)

“Bringing Learning To Life: Service-Learning for Educators at All Levels” allows K-12 teachers in Columbus City Schools to complete a graduate course in theories and practices in service-learning. Participating teachers earn three graduate credits, are provided free or reduced tuition and course materials, and have the opportunity to apply for a mini-grant to support classroom or school-wide service-learning projects. After completion of the course, teachers work with their students and a community partner to design and implement service-learning projects in their schools and/or local communities.  A Community Advisory Board of representatives from local community organizations, local philanthropic and business groups, the Board of Education and Columbus City Schools, and from local universities helps to ensure that the project addresses important local needs.  In one project, ninth-grade students read texts on community engagement and the environment, designed a community garden, and determined ways to install wheelchair-accessible pavers throughout the garden in order for students who are in wheelchairs to access the flower beds and contribute to the garden. This group partnered with a local church and a nonprofit organization that serves people with physical disabilities.  A student-led design team was responsible for designing, coordinating, and implementing the project. A presentation about the community garden project to 170 principals in the school district was instrumental in promoting service-learning system-wide. These experiences are key to students gaining 2lst-century skills that can enhance their confidence, encourage them to collaborate with peers, and promote academic success as students learn to become productive members of society.

ECE K-12 Outreach Program (53 students participated, 537 service hours, 2,163 individuals served)

The Electrical and Computer Engineering K-12 Outreach Program aims to interest kids, particularly those from under-represented groups, in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. In 2011-2012, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering delivered hands-on engineering activities to more than 2,000 K-12 students. During these sessions, kids built working motors, lit up their initials in LED lights, and more. The activities were designed by Ohio State students to be inexpensive and completed in a short period of time. Ohio State student volunteers visited every middle school in the Columbus Public Schools system and taught kids how to build a working speaker using just paper, magnets and wire. All materials are provided by Ohio State and students can keep their homemade speakers and motors. A series of activities on flat-panel displays allowed middle schoolers to make glowing electroluminescent panels, program microcontrollers to share their own animations on dot-matrix displays, and create 3-D images. High schoolers developed model energy-efficient homes with solar and wind energy. Instructions, parts lists, presentations and photographs for many of the projects are provided online for use by teachers anywhere. So far 50 central Ohio schools have been involved, along with organizations such as Boy Scouts and 4-H.

Access88 (108 participating students, 864 service hours, 2,250 served)

The Access88 program was developed by the Office of Student Life to educate students about leadership and access to education and promote awareness of higher education to students in grades K-12. Through strong partnerships with University departments including the Ohio Union, the Office of Extension, the Economic Access Initiative, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, an outreach program was developed and implemented by undergraduate student leaders and a staff advisor. The mission of the program is to spread awareness about higher education to communities throughout the state of Ohio while educating students enrolled at Ohio State about access to education and civic engagement. The program sends groups of trained students on trips across the state to visit elementary and middle schools to educate young students about the importance of higher education and how to prepare oneself for college. The trip participants also meet with community leaders for a discussion about engagement and activism. During 2011-2012, the program sent 108 OSU students on nine trips to counties across the state, reaching over 2,250 students in grades K-8. In addition to these trips, the program coordinates a pen pal program in which any Ohio State student may become a mentor to a child visited on a trip. New program developments include the implementation of a high school leadership program and campus tours for groups visiting Ohio State in grades K-7, guided by OSU students.

ESHESA 2571: Leadership in Community Service (250 students, 7,500 service hours, 17,850 hours served)

ESHESA 2571 is a service-learning and leadership course that has been offered as a part of the undergraduate curriculum in the College of Education and Human Ecology since 1997. It is an introduction to the knowledge, skills, and competencies for responsible service and leadership in diverse communities. Each year roughly ten sections of the course are offered with between 20 and 25 students per section.  The course has remained consistent in its mission throughout that time period with a focus on student learning and reflection connected to service to the local community and a social justice focused curriculum. In addition to a weekly class meeting, students are engaged in a required, off-campus field experience for a minimum of 30 hours throughout the semester, an average of 2-3 hours per week. The course has twelve community partnerships and regular contact occurs between course instructors and service site coordinators throughout the year. Students provide service weekly to the partner agencies including food pantries, youth centers, tutoring programs, and ESL instruction.  In addition, two special sections of the course have been offered in the past several years for specific populations of students.  Those sections have a unique emphasis but keep the core curricular elements as part of the course. Sites may differ in those sections. One is an internationally-focused section where the students learn about social justice issues in London, England and travel to London for a short-term study abroad. The second section is new this year, and is focused on social justice issues that pertain specifically to women. The Girls Circle Project will be offering a section to their women facilitators as a way to immerse the students in the issues core to their work with young women in the local high schools.

MUNDO (80 participating students, 320 service hours, 200 individuals served)

MUNDO is an academic initiative and student organization sponsored by the Office of Student Life and the Office of University Housing. It provides opportunities for residence hall students to engage in learning-based service and leadership experiences designed to promote cross cultural understanding while meeting the needs of various local, national, and international communities.  Participants attend weekly meetings for dialogue and opportunities designed to help students gain a greater understanding of how multicultural histories are continually shaping their world. Specific projects include Buckeye Village Outreach, where student provide holiday activities for children at a university-owned residential community that provides housing for the families of patients in the James Cancer Center and undergraduates who are also single parent caregivers; Winter Break Service Experience, which  features an off-campus travel experience where students complete community service, group reflection, and dialogue with local community members and leaders over the importance of service; and Spring Break Experience, where students focus on how to combine service and leadership in ways that address both local and national issues. The experience begins with service projects in the campus area that include dialogue with individuals directly impacted by poverty and homelessness, and concludes with a service-learning/study abroad experience to London and another European country to explore similar issues in larger social contexts.

The College of Social Work and the Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone Partnership (39 student participants, 6168 service hours, 100 individuals served)

The College of Social Work (CSW) at Ohio State has a long history of working with community organizations to meet the needs of local communities.  In early 2011, CSW began attending community meetings in the Hilltop region of Columbus.  They soon became active supporters of the recently formed 501c3 Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone.  The group is a network of individuals and organizations committed to curbing the pandemic violence and addressing the educational, cultural, economic, health and spiritual needs of the West side of Columbus. CSW has provided leadership in hosting a world café to lead the strategic planning efforts of the Shalom Zone, has incorporated the work of the Zone into the curriculum of a master’s level course through the use of technology in the Social Work 6501 class, and has most recently connected the Zone with Mental Health America in order to provide pro-bono mental health counseling to those who are uninsured or underinsured on the Westside.  The college has placed nine second year master’s students in this placement, where they spend 24 hours a week outreaching to the community and providing services. During this academic year each student will spend 672 hours on this project.  The Shalom Zone Teen Center has participated with the college to provide a site for social work students to work directly with persons living in poverty.  Students help with homework, interview preparation, and life skills.