Service-Learning | Presidential Award

Presidential Award

CUH receives "Presidential Award for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances"

The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs. The Honor Roll's Presidential Award is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

  • In 2007, Chaminade University was one of only 3 to be awarded “Presidential Award for Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances.”
  • In 2006, Chaminade University was one of 10 to be awarded “Presidential Award FINALIST for Excellence in General Community Service.

Award Levels:

  • The Presidential Award is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive.
  • About 100 were given titles of "Honor Roll, with Distinction".
  • Over 500 were accepted to the Honor Roll.

Selection Criteria:

  • Reviewer evaluations of the scope, innovativeness, and evidence of effectiveness of the service projects described in the application.
  • Percentage of total student enrollment engaged in community service activities and academic service-learning courses.
  • Percentage of total student enrollment engaged in at least 20 hours of community service per semester.
  • Extent to which the institution offers academic service-learning courses.
  • Whether the institution requires academic service-learning
  • Whether the institution rewards the use of academic service-learning through faculty promotion and tenure decisions, or other means.
  • The institution’s Federal Work-Study community service participation rate.
  • Whether community service or service-learning is cited in the institution’s mission statement or strategic plan.

Much of the work that was highlighted in the award application centers on Palolo Valley. Our community partners, faculty, and students collaborate with the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Kapiolani Community College to provide tutoring, early childhood/family education, computer literacy, and more. Chaminade’s service-learning classes focus on diversity in these broad, entry-level tutoring programs. Then, as students progress in their majors and gain specialized knowledge, they move down a “pathway” of service-learning projects that allow them to apply that specialization to help the community. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) project, for example, prepares intermediate accounting majors for the senior-level VITA project and the nonprofit consulting projects.

A quote from CUH President Sue Wesselkamper:

"As an institution for higher learning, Chaminade University emphasizes integrated service-learning as a way to enrich its academic curriculum. By using service opportunities as deliberate learning opportunities, this integrated approach helps our students to develop skills, broaden their understanding and knowledge base, as well as build awareness and sensitivity to diversity. In our service-learning Pathway of Projects, we worked together to address issues systemically and with intentionality, building tracts for student leadership and deepening engagement across semesters.

We thank our students, faculty, staff, and community partners for their commitment to service and humbly accept the CNCS recognition on their behalf."

A quote from Candice Sakuda, CUH Director of Service-Learning:

"Chaminade is a small university with a big heart and many willing hands. What is especially meaningful about the President's Award is that the work we do in our own local communities can be of national significance."

Recommendations from the Awards Panel

  • This award should give Chaminade the momentum to KEEP UP the impressive work.
  • We should look to the examples for which we’ve won, to inspire service-learning pathways in other disciplines. All areas should encourage students to sustain service through leadership.
  • We should keep focusing on quality integration of service-learning – not as an “add-on,” but as an integral part of academic education.
  • We should encourage faculty participation through the formal valuation of service-learning and community-based research in the RTP process.