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College receives $40,000 Learn and Serve grant to support sustainability, STEM education

07/14/2010
Washington Campus Compact has awarded Edmonds Community College a $40,000 Learn and Serve grant. Washington Campus Compact, a higher education consortium hosted at Western Washington University, will administer the grant as part of a larger $500,000 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

The grant will support the Northwest Sustainability Initiative to increase habitat restoration and green energy practices through service-learning opportunities by faculty and students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields at higher education campuses in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Edmonds Community College will receive $25,000 to administer a key component of the grant, coordinating a regional Faculty Fellow program with faculty members from Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

An additional $15,000 will infuse service-learning into science, technology, engineering and math courses and involve students in assisting regional nonprofits with their efforts to decrease the amount of toxic chemicals entering Puget Sound daily via storm water runoff and increase Chinook salmon populations (currently 10 percent below estimated historic numbers).

“Meaningful service brings learning to life. Students learn best when they help solve genuine problems with tangible benefits for themselves and the community,” said Edmonds Community College instructor Thomas Murphy.

Nationally, grants were awarded to 28 higher education institutions and nonprofits, focused in two main areas: training current and future teachers to use service-learning in the classroom, and to bring service-learning to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) disciplines. A total of 192 organizations applied for the grants, demonstrating the growing belief that higher education plays a key role in achieving community impact and that service plays a key role in education.

“Edmonds Community College did a great job in pursuing and winning this grant,” said Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01). “I was proud to support their effort and with this new grant Edmonds will be able to engage more students in service-learning, with a focus on STEM related disciplines. I have long supported using the study of math, science, and technology to address environmental issues in our communities.”

Learn and Serve America provides an “on-ramp” to a lifetime of civic engagement for more than a million students each year. As part of its goal of making service-learning a common practice, the program provides resources to teachers, faculty members, schools, and community groups across the country. In 2009, 1.1 million Learn and Serve America participants were engaged in service-learning activities for nearly 20 million hours that addressed challenges and unmet needs across the country.

Established in 1992 and hosted at Western Washington University, the Washington Campus Compact membership of 37 colleges and universities is committed to providing meaningful experiences for students to become active, engaged leaders in their communities, furthering the civic and public purposes of higher education and strengthening communities. WACC is an affiliate state office of Campus Compact, a national organization comprised of more than 1,100 institutions committed to the civic and public purposes of higher education.

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Edmonds Community College’s Center for Service-Learning

Edmonds Community Colleges award-winning service-learning program established in 2003 serves more than 1,500 students and provides 25,000 hours of service in the community to 100 government agencies, community groups, and non-profit organizations each year. Programs include part-time AmeriCorps Program Students in Service, the Veterans Conservation Corps, and the AmeriCorps Retention Project (which works with TRiO Student Support Services, the Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School, and Adult Basic Education ESL programs at the college). www.edcc.edu/servicelearning

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at Edmonds CC

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