Initiatives in Service
Meeting the needs of our community, state, and nation
As an urban land-, sea- and space-grant institution, LSU uses its extensive resources to solve economic, environmental, and social challenges. With projects ranging from hurricane clean-up days to creating “dream playgrounds” for elementary schools, LSU faculty, staff and students enjoy reaching out to better the community.
LSU recently received the 2008 Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for the university’s community engagement and outreach initiatives. LSU joins 118 U.S. colleges and universities selected in 2008, and the 76 institutions identified in the 2006 selection process as community engaged institutions.
The Community University Partnership (CUP) exhibits the University's commitment to community in a variety of these areas, with a concentrated focus upon Old South Baton Rouge and the neighborhoods immediately north of campus.
LSU’s Center for Community Engagement, Learning & Leadership (CCELL) allows students to put their classroom knowledge to use in service to the community, benefiting both students and the community outside the gates of LSU. Students enrolled in service-learning courses help meet community needs while fostering greater self-knowledge, improved leadership skills, and a sense of civic responsibility. For its program, CCELL won the American Association of University Administrators’ 2004 Exemplary Model Award. In 2009, CCELL hosted more than 400 service-learning faculty, administrators, community partners and students from around the country for the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education, one of the premier service-learning conferences in the nation.
CCELL trains and develops service-learning faculty who have won awards for giving back to the community. Biological Engineering Professor Marybeth Lima , whose students have designed and/or built 18 EBR playgrounds, has won the two top national awards for “The Scholarship of Engagement”: the 2005 Ernest Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service and Outreach and the 2007 Thomas Ehrlich Award for building campus commitment to service-learning and civic engagement and fostering reciprocal community partnerships.
Each year, approximately 2,700 graduate and undergraduate students are engaged in 175 service-learning sections offered in 35 departments, with more courses being added regularly. Here’s a sampling:
- Veterinary medicine, kinesiology, chemistry, education , English, math, and theater students worked in inner-city classrooms to mentor public school students while reinforcing K-12 institutional standards.
- Biological sciences students initiated a long-term ecological inventory of two public nature parks to address land management needs.
- Social work graduate students developed effective group interventions for first-time teen offenders for Teen Court of Greater Baton Rouge.
- Students in the College of Art and Design worked with local governments to rebuild neighborhoods and municipal areas damaged by recent hurricanes.
- Nutrition and dietetics students assisted at the Food Bank and presented healthy eating and shopping workshops for clients of various social service agencies and hospitals.
- Through the “ChemDemo” program, more than 5,200 LSU chemistry students have introduced the wonders of science in approximately 2,600 East Baton Rouge Parish classrooms, impacting more than 64,000 K-12 students since the program began in 1977.
- College of Education students brought colorful learning, physical energy, and caring consistency to life among the rows of white mobile homes called home to children impacted by hurricanes.
LSU was one of only six universities among 510 applicants nationwide to receive the 2006 President’s Community Service Honor Roll. CCELL prepared the application, which featured service-learning activities, and was awarded $5,000 to promote civic engagement. Also, CCELL’s application resulted in LSU’s inclusion in Princeton Review’s 2005 book, Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement.
Volunteer LSU is the university’s center for community service and involvement. Its mission is to promote and coordinate volunteer opportunities, build partnerships within the community, and instill a lifelong commitment to service. Volunteer LSU serves as the clearinghouse for both those who are interested in helping out and for those who need volunteer help.
In addition, LSU promotes community service among its 275 student organizations, including service organizations and Greek chapters on campus. The University also sponsors Ocean Commotion, which attracts more than 3,500 K-8 students from area schools annually, and Youth Programs through the Division of Continuing Education.
LSU was selected by Partnership for Public Service to participate in a prestigious two-year pilot (2005-2007) called Call to Serve Recruitment Initiative. LSU and Stanford, George Washington, Ohio State, University of New Mexico, and Clark Atlanta created and tested activities and programs designed to promote interest among young Americans in federal jobs, internships, fellowships, and careers. Successful tools were compiled and rolled out as best practices to more than 600 schools across the country in the Call to Serve network. LSU now participates as a Call to Serve network school and actively promotes Careers in Public Service to students.
LSU supports City Year Louisiana in an effort to build a strong partnership in public service, civic leadership, and academic excellence as well as Louisiana Delta Service Corps , a program similar to City Year.
There are many ways and many reasons to serve. Find yours!