Service Learning Program Receives Prestigious Honors
Raritan Valley Community College has become a national leader in service learning – providing an opportunity for our students to serve their community as part of their classroom instruction. Every, more than 1,000 RVCC students provide service to over 250 local community organizations within 85 different courses through our service learning program. The College’s commitment to serve its community has been recognized numerous times with two prestigious national honors – the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement and the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
2023 - Raritan Valley Community College has been awarded a Highly Established Action Plan Seal by the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge. The seal is awarded to campuses that have worked to increase nonpartisan democratic engagement and graduate engaged voters by building a strong nonpartisan action plan. RVCC is one of 121 campuses that earned this inaugural recognition for the 2022 election cycle. It is the only college in New Jersey and one of only six community colleges nationally receiving the award. RVCC’s Action Plan was supported by the Service Learning Program through by offering voter registration campaigns, training and serving as poll workers, presenting at workshops, sharing election information, and social media messaging.
2022 – The Pray Family has created a new fund through the RVCC Foundation to donate $3,500 annually for the Service Learning and Community Outreach Program. The funds will support students who are poll workers, receive student awards and a newly created Student Engagement Ambassador position.
2021 - Raritan Valley Community College has won the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge's 2021 Best Action Plan Award for the New Jersey Campus Voting Challenge – Community College. RVCC was honored for its action plan for increasing student civic engagement on campus – a project coordinated by Service Learning, Student Life and Student Government. The New Jersey Campus Voting Challenge is a nonpartisan competition among NJ higher education institutions, focusing on their commitment to increasing student voter participation and engagement on campuses across the state. The college also was honored in the New Jersey Campus Voting Challenge for the Highest Voter Registration for two-year colleges and the Highest Voter Turnout and the Most Improved Voter Turnout for two-year colleges. The voting participation was based on the 2020 election. The college had a 62% voting rate, which was an increase of 16.6% from 2016. RVCC’s voting successes earned the college a Silver Seal (60-70% student voter turnout) from the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge.
2020 - Eduardo J. Padrón Award for Institutional Transformation from Campus Compact for outstanding work in pursuit of the public purposes of higher education. RVCC is one of only two community colleges in the U.S.—and the only New Jersey college—to receive the award. The award celebrates RVCC’s commitment to the civic purposes of higher education through its nationally recognized Service Learning Program. Learn more about RVCC's Service Learning Program in this video.
2019 - Raritan Valley Community College has earned a “gold seal” in the 2019 ALL IN Challenge Awards for its student voter engagement. The awards recognize colleges and universities across the country that are committed to increasing college student voting rates. Institutions that earn a gold seal have achieved a student voting rate between 40-49 percent. The project was a collaboration with Service Learning, Student Life and the Student Government Association.
2014-2018 - Teagle Foundation grant award. The project, Student Learning for Civic Capacity: Stimulating Moral, Ethical and Civic Engagement for Learning, coordinated and disseminated findings on a multistate service learning project among six community colleges to assess and develop students’ civic and moral responsibility.
2018 - Received and coordinated a $1,850 mini-grant from the Democracy Commitment to participate in Engage the Elections: 2018, a program that aims to advance non-partisan electoral engagement on community college campuses. RVCC is one of only 14 community colleges in the country—and the only New Jersey college—to be awarded the mini-grant. The project is a collaboration with Service Learning, Student Life and Student Government Association.
2018 - New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award. Service Learning College Students at RVCC have been selected as Medalists for the Youth Volunteer Group category of the 2018 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Awards. This recognition is based on extraordinary volunteer/public service contributed by service learning students.
2016 - Adult Day Care Center of Somerset County Award. Recognition from non-profit organization for 20-year partnership with RVCC’s Service Learning Program.
2015 - Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. RVCC earned this prestigious designation for its Service Learning Program and other community engagement programs and services. The selection was based on institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.
2014 - President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll “With Distinction” for General Community Service and Education. Among 766 applicants named to the Honor Roll, RVCC was one of just 121 higher education institutions in the U.S. to be recognized “With Distinction” in the category of General Community Service and one of only 22 institutions in the category of Education. RVCC also was the only community college in the country, and the only college in New Jersey, to receive the designations in both categories.
2013 - President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for General Community Service. Received recognition for the eighth consecutive year based on the quality of, quantity of, and commitment to community service initiatives. This category reflects the best practices of community service and service learning, such as long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.
2012 - President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for Presidential Award Finalist. RVCC was the only community college in the country to receive recognition as the Presidential Award Finalist.
2010 - President's Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction from the Corporation for National and Community Service. RVCC was one of only four community colleges in the country and the only college in New Jersey to receive this prestigious honor.
2010 - Citation from Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders. RVCC received a citation from the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders for its leadership with service learning and civic engagement.
2010 - Arc of Somerset County’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Recognition from a non-profit organization for the College's service learning efforts helping children with developmental disabilities and their families.
2009 - President's Community Service Honor Roll from the Corporation for National and Community Service. RVCC was one of six colleges and universities selected for this prestigious award and the only community college receiving the honor from among 780 applicants nationwide. RVCC was recognized for its exceptional service learning accomplishments in the category of the Special Focus Area: Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances.
2009 - Economic Vitality Award from the Somerset Business Partnership. This prestigious award was given for making a significant impact in the quality of life of the organization’s targeted constituency in Somerset County, which included innovative programming and contribution of volunteer base.
2008 - President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll from the Corporation for National and Community Service. RVCC’s selection to the Honor Roll is recognition from the highest levels of the federal government for the College’s commitment to service and civic engagement on campus and in the nation.
2008 - Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. RVCC is one of nine community colleges nationwide and the only community college in New Jersey to receive this honor. RVCC earned this prestigious designation for its Service Learning Program and other community engagement programs and services. The selection was based on institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices.
2008 - Service-Learning Collaboration Award from the Community College National Center for Community Engagement. Received this prestigious award recognizing the outstanding work of the College’s Service Learning Program with social service organizations in the following areas:
- quality of learning opportunities provided to students
- contribution of both the institution and its partners to community improvement
- level of faculty involvement in the collaboration
- development of the collaboration, its impact on the community, and how it can encourage others to develop similar partnerships
2007 - President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Special Achievement Award. RVCC was one of two community colleges nationwide that received the Special Achievement Award for its commitment to service. The award was given in recognition of the College’s Service Learning Disaster Sheltering Projects from The Corporation for National and Community Service.
2007-2009 - Learn and Serve Grant Award, Building on Our Strengths. Received grant funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service and Sponsored by the Pennsylvania and New York Campus Compacts to develop a service learning regional network among community colleges.
2006 - President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for General Community Service and for Hurricane Relief. Received recognition in two categories for service learning and Hurricane Katrina efforts from The Corporation for National and Community Service.
2004-2007 - Learn and Serve Homeland Security Grant. Received grant funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by the Community College National Center for Community Engagement to develop a homeland security and emergency preparedness service learning program.
2004 - The Community’s College Indicators of Engagement publication. Profiled in Campus Compact’s publication. Based on the findings of a multi-year research project, this volume profiles successful community engagement practices and programs at community colleges across the country.
2002 - AACC Best Practices Grant Award. Received funding to organize and host a regional service learning conference.
2001 - Alternatives, Inc Community Award. Recognition from a non-profit organization for the College’s service learning efforts helping adults with disabilities and their families.
2000 - Service Matters: The Engaged Campus. Featured in Campus Compact’s national publication with a seven page in-depth profile demonstrating RVCC’s effort to deepen its service learning program.
1999 - Service Matters: Engaging Higher Education in the Renewal of America’s Communities and American Democracy. Cited in Campus Compact’s national publication for having the largest faculty participation nationwide and for having developed two model programs: disabilities awareness and multi-cultural understanding.
1998 - Service-Learning Collaboration award from the Community College National Center for Community Engagement. Received this prestigious award recognizing the outstanding work of the College’s Service Learning Program with social service organizations in the following areas:
- leadership in developing and implementing college and community collaborations
- development of quality learning opportunities for community college students through service learning courses and reflection activities
- collaborative contributions to the community and the potential for other community colleges to replicate components of the program