CSULB has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
CSULB was chosen in part for its efforts to establish unique community service opportunities, including the Domestic Violence Resource and Referral Program and the Carmelitos Initiative. The Domestic Violence Resource and Referral Program is a unique advocacy program that operates in the Long Beach Superior Court and the Carmelitos Initiative provides support and resources for low-income families living in the Carmelitos Housing Development.
The Domestic Violence Resource and Referral Program was created in 2003 by CSULB's Center for Community Engagement and the WomenShelter of Long Beach in an effort to create a more responsive courtroom environment for survivors of domestic violence. CSULB student volunteers receive 40 hours of state-mandated training through WomenShelter of Long Beach and then, with the consent of the judge and prosecutors in the domestic violence courtroom, spend time with survivors in the courtroom to provide emotional support, explain the court process, assess survivors' needs and desires, and provide information and referrals to a variety of services.
"Interviews with court personnel have revealed important benefits," said Juan Benitez, interim director for the Center for Community Engagement. "It frees up the prosecutors' time, reduces survivor hostility toward the prosecutor and provides assurances to the judge that the survivor is making an informed choice. Most importantly, case notes and interviews with interns revealed important benefits to survivors. They know someone is listening to them, they learn about resources and receive information about the court process."
The Carmelitos Initiative, which began in 2002, saw 87 students from a wide range of disciplines volunteering to help families with family literacy, after-school academic mentoring, recreation, workforce development and senior service programs during 2006-07. Studies have shown that CSULB mentors have had a positive impact on children's academic performance in reading, writing and math, as well as their classroom behavior and their intention to complete school and attend college.
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll is jointly sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, through its Learn and Serve America program, and the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, USA Freedom Corps and the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.
A Look at the Number of Hours Provided by CSULB Students through Service-Learning and Community Engagement programs, 2006-07 Academic Year
- 61,300 -- Estimated total number of service hours by students
- 2,434 -- Estimated number of students who engaged in community service of any kind
- 2,400 -- Number of hours students dedicated to the Carmelitos Initiative
- 2,000 -- Estimated number of students who engaged in at least 20 hours of community service of any kind per semester
- 1,350 -- Number of hours students dedicated to the Domestic Violence Resource and Referral Program