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Hudson Valley Community College Receives $36,000 Grant to Aid Service Learning

CONTACT: Eric Bryant (518) 629-8072
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Monday, February 2, 2004

Following a competition among community colleges nationwide, Hudson Valley has been selected as one of only eight institutions to receive a prestigious grant that will promote service learning and civic responsibility at the college.

The $36,000 grant is part of a $1.2 million national project, "Community Colleges Broadening Horizons through Service Learning," from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) with funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Part of the AACC's Horizon's project, its goal is to make service learning and civic responsibility an integral part of the educational and life experiences of community college students as well as to increase the number, quality and sustainability of service learning initiatives on campus. Service learning puts an emphasis on reflection and reciprocity as students connect their academic work to the real life situations faced by modern communities.

The effort to obtain the grant stemmed from work Hudson Valley students currently do with students from the Carroll Hill Elementary School. The effort matches Hudson Valley students with pupils from the Troy elementary school in an after school setting. Students in a number of courses will be involved in the mentoring of Carroll Hill students.

Working in conjunction with Carroll Hill and the Rensselaer County Historical Society, Dr. Peter Sawyer and Lori Sykes of the History, Philosophy and Social Sciences department received the service learning grant, which will be distributed over the next three years.

"Hudson Valley Community College and other grantees are at the forefront of one of the most exciting concepts in postsecondary education," said Gail Robinson, national coordinator for AACC's Horizons project. "The work these colleges do over the next three years will benefit both the colleges and their communities by teaching students the importance of civic responsibility and service as an integral part of the learning experience."

Other colleges receiving the grants included: Chattahoochee Technical College (Ga.), Kingwood College (Texas), Northern New Mexico Community College (N.M.), Northwest Indian College (Wash.), Prince George's Community College (Md.), Sinclair Community College (Ohio), and Western Wisconsin Technical College (Wis.).

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 11,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.