Newswise — In recognition of the University of North Florida’s commitment to campus-community engagement and public service, Florida Campus Compact recognized UNF as the Engaged Campus of the Year for 2018 for the State University System. This is the University’s second time receiving this award.
The Engaged Campus of the Year Award recognizes institutions that advance the purposes of higher education while improving community life and educating students for civil and social responsibility. This is the highest honor for campus-community engagement in Florida.
“UNF consistently provides remarkable service to the greater Jacksonville area and beyond through its volunteering, philanthropy and community-based teaching and research,” said UNF President David Szymanski.
The UNF Center for Community-Based Learning was created in 2009 and facilitates community engagement throughout the University. Currently, 94 percent of academic departments at the University offer community engagement in their courses.
During the 2017-18 academic year, over 12,490 UNF students were enrolled in community-based learning courses, which are designed to help students apply what they learn in the classroom out in the community. Students also spent nearly one million hours engaged in community projects with more than 600 community partners.
“The UNF experience is thoughtfully coordinated to create effective and active citizens,” said Marnie Jones, Center for Community-Based Learning director. “Students with the support of faculty and in collaboration with partners accomplish remarkable work.”
One of the many community projects is with the Northeast Florida Archaeology Alliance, where archaeology faculty and students work with the National Park Service and the Florida State Parks in an annual summer Field School, which has been taking place for 19 years. Faculty, students and staff work to dig and uncover our region’s rich prehistoric and historic societies that once lived in Northeast Florida.
Another community partnership is the Adaptive Toy Project, which was initiated in 2014. UNF engineering and physical therapy faculty and students work with the Brooks Pediatric Residency Program to design, fabricate and deliver custom assistive technology, like battery-powered toy cars, for kids with developmental disabilities to aid in mobility and independence at no cost to the families.
For 14 years, UNF nursing and nutrition students have provided service at Jacksonville’s Volunteers in Medicine clinic seeing patients on a weekly basis. Students work alongside with more than 200 medical professionals to help provide healthcare to the working uninsured.
Florida Campus Compact is the state affiliate of a national coalition of college and university leaders committed to the public purposes of higher education. The state network consists of nearly 70 higher education leaders and their institutions.
The Center for Community-Based Learning at UNF is the dedicated administrative unit responsible for facilitating the inclusion of community-based learning across the entire campus. Community-Based Learning is the collaborative engagement of students, faculty, administration and community experts designed to provide students with rich, real-world opportunities that enhance student learning, personal development and civic involvement, while also contributing to the enrichment and well-being of the greater Jacksonville community and beyond.
UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.