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Simmons College Receives President's National Community Service Honor

BOSTON (February 12, 2008) — Simmons College is one of 127 universities across the nation named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, for its students' volunteer service contributions to the community.

The President's Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition an institution can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement.

Simmons College was honored for the scope and innovativeness of its community service projects, the percentage of student participation in service activities, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses. Simmons College also was named last year to the President's Community Service Honor Roll.

"We're delighted to once again receive national recognition for our service leadership in the Boston community," said Simmons College President Susan Scrimshaw.  "Our commitment to community service is at the core of Simmons's mission and our students' determination to make a difference in the world."

In congratulating the winners, U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, "Americans rely on our higher education system to prepare students for citizenship and the workforce.  We look to institutions like these to provide leadership in partnering with local schools to shape the civic, democratic and economic future of our country."

During the 2006-2007 academic year, the Simmons College Scott/Ross Center for Community Service engaged more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students with more than 40 community partners in more than 36,000 hours of community service.  Achievements were made in undergraduate and graduate service learning, tutoring and mentoring programs, English as a Second Language programs, and alternative spring break programs.

Among the myriad community service programs the Scott/Ross Center helps facilitate are tutoring and mentoring partnerships with more than 14 community schools and organizations for children from preschool to high school; alternative spring break options that include working for Habitat for Humanity; a pen pal/mentor program that matches more than 200 Simmons faculty, staff and alumni with Boston middle-school students; a college awareness program for sixth-grade inner-city youths; and public speaking and public policy training for homeless and formerly homeless parents.

Additionally, Simmons was noted for its high percentage of federal work-study funding that is allocated for community service (32 percent in total).  The federal government recommends that colleges allocate at least 7 percent of their federal work-study funding for community service.

Simmons College Trustee and alumna Emily Scott Pottruck funded the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service in 2000, in recognition of the college's long-time commitment to community service.  The center serves the Greater Boston community by developing reciprocal partnerships with community organizations while enriching and expanding students' educational and co-curricular experiences.

The President's Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, through its Learn and Serve program, and the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the USA Freedom Corps, and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

Simmons College  is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston.  It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health studies, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's only MBA program designed specifically for women.