In UNC’s nomination for the honor roll, the Carolina Center for Public Service estimated that over the past year 20,672 Carolina students gave a total of 952,170 hours in service to the community. UNC has 15 formally classified public service centers and institutes and almost 70 more classified as research or instructional units. Virtually all of these centers and institutes include substantive efforts to address community needs.
UNC presented three programs as exemplary cases in the application for recognition:
- The UNC Law Pro Bono program connects law students with hundreds of pro bono projects under the supervision of practicing attorneys. The program works throughout the year with community partners, legal aid offices, law school student groups, professors, alumni, private attorneys and fellow students to facilitate individual pro bono projects, special clinics and group trips in which students can participate. During the 2011-12 academic year, 15 group projects involving 378 UNC law students addressed diverse legal issues such as education, environmental and civil rights law, consumer protection and income tax, ensuring that individuals who have neither economic nor political means have the opportunity to pursue legal claims and rights.
- Carolina Navigators works with UNC undergraduates who have international experience. Participants enroll in a service-learning course to investigate intercultural competence and global education in North Carolina, as well as draw on their experiences to create a variety of global K-12 education resources like photo stories, video stories and articles. Students bring a global perspective to the classroom through presentations, group discussions, conducting research or choosing globally-themed classroom materials. In 2011-12, 29 UNC students completed roughly 800 service hours over two semesters and reached more than 22,500 students throughout North Carolina.
- SMART Mentoring engages UNC undergraduates and local middle-school students in mentoring relationships, targeting students from low-income communities at high risk of bullying, abuse, academic failure and juvenile delinquency. The program, a unique collaboration between the Carolina Center for Public Service, nonprofit Volunteers for Youth and UNC’s department of sociology, represents service-learning in its true form. In 2011-2012, 30 student mentors were matched with 30 mentees who engaged in a wide variety of activities, including workshops and educational trips.
Of the 690 higher education institutions named to the 2013 honor roll, 113 institutions earned the recognition of Honor Roll with Distinction.