National list based on Washington Monthly rating, other research
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College is one of the most “service-minded” colleges in the country, according to Newsweek, which ranks the college second among the “best 25 schools for do-gooders” in lists released this week.
The list of “The 25 Most Service-Minded Schools” is included in Newsweek’s online rankings. Newsweek partnered with Washington Monthly, a D.C.-based political magazine, on the community service listing, which recently ranked Wofford at 23rd on its national list. (See more of the Newsweek rankings at http://education.newsweek.com/choosing-a-school/college-rankings.html.)
Wofford is the only South Carolina institution on the list.
Newsweek notes that Wofford “was committed to community service from its founding as a Methodist institution in 1854.”
In addition to using Washington Monthly’s rankings, Newsweek drew on other sources to compile its rankings, including information from Education Sector, an independent think tank. Washington Monthly determined which colleges have the most service-minded students, faculty and policies by measuring several areas, including the size of the Army and Navy ROTC programs; the proportion of alumni in the Peace Corps; the percentage of federal work-study money spent on community-service projects; the number of students participating in community service and their total service hours; whether classes incorporate service; and whether there are service-based scholarships. The magazine evaluated 510 institutions.
Wofford has a number of service-oriented programs, and all students are encouraged to participate in community service and service learning opportunities. The college’s Bonner Scholars program, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is permanently endowed and is the cornerstone of a model service-learning program. Each of the 60 scholars commits to directly serving the Spartanburg community and its human services agencies for at least 10 hours a week.
Wofford students, faculty and staff are involved in The Math Academy at Cleveland and Mary H. Wright elementary schools, tutoring students in grades 4 through 6. Mentors also bring groups of students to campus to show them around and have them participate in programs, including the annual Halloween carnival.
The Healthy Eating Decisions program created by Dr. Dave Pittman, psychology professor, is available to all elementary school students in the county and is designed to help curb childhood obesity. Wofford students assist in presenting the program to the schools and in Pittman’s research.
The college’s other service opportunities include Living Words, a creative writing program for Alzheimer’s and other dementia patients; an English for Speakers of Other Languages program; language outreach programs at Arcadia and E.P. Todd elementary schools that have large Spanish-speaking populations; and Terrier Tales/Mentoring program involving student-athletes, particularly football players, as mentors for elementary and middle-school students.