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Survey Reveals Record Numbers of Students Involved in Service

Survey Reveals Record Numbers of Students Involved in Service


A survey released last month by Campus Compact found that students at American colleges and universities are engaging in community service in record numbers. Campus support of service efforts is also on the rise. Results show a steady increase in both campus-based service initiatives and the incorporation of service into the curriculum or what is known as


An average of 33 percent of students at the 504 responding schools engaged in community service during 2002, compared with 28 percent in 2001. More than half of the schools surveyed noted an increase in student involvement in community service; a fifth reported an increase of 10 percent or more.
“The fact that a third of college and university students are engaged in community service belies the common image of students as cyni
cal and self-involved,” says Elizabeth Hollander, executive director of Campus Compact. “Campuses are increasingly providing the space and opportunity for students to act on their sense of social responsibility.”
Other findings revealed dramatic increases in faculty, presidential and institutional support of community service on American campuses. For example:
• Although many respondents cited teaching loads as an obstacle to extending service-learning, campuses report that 11 percent of faculty integrate community service with academic study or research.
• Campuses offer an average of 30.3 courses that combine service with academic learning, compared with 27 courses per campus in 2001.
• On 75 percent of campuses,
the president’s office provides visible support for campus-based community service.
• More than 40 percent of campuses reported having an established office of community service or service-learning with an annual budget exceeding $50,000.
Campus Compact’s annual member survey tracks trends in community service, service-­learning and civic engagement. The most recent survey was conducted in 2002 by the Public Opinion Laboratory of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy at Brown University. Out of 840 member colleges and universities that received the survey, 504 completed it, a response rate of 60 percent. More results, as well as results from past surveys, are available at .  

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