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Middlebury College included in new book "Colleges with a Conscience"

July 21, 2005

Book recognizes college's community service program

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-A two-page profile of Middlebury College and its community service program are included in a new book, "Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement" (Random House/Princeton Review).  Middlebury and the other schools described in the book are cited for their commitment to social service and the service-learning opportunities they offer to students.   

Published in June, the book was edited by New York City based-Princeton Review, the college guidebook publisher, and Providence, R.I.-based Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 950 college and university presidents that encourages public service in higher education.  The two organizations selected the 81 schools in the book from a pool of more than 900 institutions.  "Colleges with a Conscience" offers detailed profiles of the schools, advice for students interested in attending colleges that foster civic engagement, and tips on getting financial support for service.  The schools represent a diverse range of public and private institutions located across the country.

Tiffany Nourse Sargent, director of the Alliance for Civil Engagement at Middlebury, said, "We are very proud of the difference that our students make in our local, national and international communities.  They contribute their talent through their volunteer work with numerous organizations, ranging from the Vermont Special Olympics to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, and by working abroad in impoverished areas.  When students enroll in service-learning courses, they also deepen their understanding of their class work while addressing a community need that may take the form of research on the local economy or environmental issues that affect the area."

Sargent estimates that more than half of Middlebury's students were engaged in community service projects or service-related initiatives this year.  More than 500 students were involved in ongoing projects, providing a minimum of two hours per week for dozens of agencies and individuals, amounting to more than 28,000 hours of student volunteer effort per
academic year-the equivalent of more than a dozen people working for the needs of the community full time, year-round.

"A college with a conscience," says Robert Franek, vice president of publishing at Princeton Review, "has both an administration committed to social responsibility and a student
body actively engaged in serving society.  Education at these schools isn't only about private gain: it's about the public good."  

The book's editors also invited organizations with expertise in campus community service to nominate colleges for inclusion based on criteria covering three major areas: the college's admissions practices and scholarships rewarding community service; the level of social engagement of the school's student body; and the college's support for service-learning programs, student activism, and student voice in school governance. 

Once the book's editors had narrowed the selection to 96 schools, they collected extensive data about the institutions' service programs and policies through surveys of the schools' students, faculty and staff.