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Dordt College News

Iowa college students rank second in the nation in volunteerism

June 17, 2010

Dordt College has helped Iowa become second in the nation in volunteerism. According to a report released by Volunteering in America, Iowa college students rank second in the nation in volunteering within the college student demographic up from 32nd in 2006, with 41 percent of college students volunteering their time in 2009.

As a state, Iowa has the second-highest volunteer rate in the country with 38.7 percent of its residents volunteering their time in 2009, surpassing its fifth-place ranking from the year before. Utah ranks first in the country as a state and first in the college student demographic.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this year’s ranking,” said Rachel Manuel, executive director of Iowa Campus Compact. “As the only higher education association dedicated to campus-based civic engagement, our member campuses are improving community life, while also educating its students for civic and social responsibility through service-learning, community service and civic engagement initiatives.”

Iowa’s high percentage is due in part to the 92 college students enrolled in the Iowa Campus Compact AmeriCorps program serving 300 or 450 hours of service across Iowa helping meet local community needs. Each participant recruits 10 additional volunteers throughout their term of service. Additionally, Iowa Campus Compact has 23 full-time AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and 10 VISTA Summer Associates working to increase service-learning, mobilize volunteers and strengthen local communities throughout Iowa.

Dordt College is a member of Iowa Campus Compact, one of 21 member institutions in the state. The National Campus Compact is a coalition of more than 1,100 colleges and universities committed to fostering in students the values and skills of civic engagement. In the past five years, member schools have reported a 60 percent increase in service participation. Students working in areas such as literacy, health care, homelessness, voting and the environment contribute more than $5 billion in service to their communities each year. Iowa Campus Compact started in 2003 and now includes 21 member institutions.

Iowa Campus Compact’s executive committee includes John Byrd, president of Simpson College; Darrel Colson, president of Wartburg College; Dan Kinney, president of Iowa Western Community College; Sally Mason, president of the University of Iowa; Fred Moore, president of Buena Vista University; and Carl Zylstra, president of Dordt College.

For more information on Iowa’s Campus Compact, go to www.iacampuscompact.org. For more information on Volunteering in America visit www.volunteeringinamerica.gov.

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