A special initiative of the Corporation for National & Community Service, The President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll was established in 2006 and annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve.
The Chicago, DC and Los Angeles Campuses of TCSPP were each named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll; the seventh consecutive year the Chicago Campus has earned this prestigious recognition, the second consecutive year for the Los Angeles Campus and the first year for the DC campus. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
The Illinois Connections for Families of the Fallen (ICFF) is a collaborative effort of over 15 local and national agencies dedicated to helping families of fallen service members by providing supports and resources. TCSPP was asked by the ICFF to create a series of presentations that focused on grieving and mental health issues for these families. TCSPP faculty and students worked together to create ICFF Toolkits consisting formal presentations, presenter guidelines, and print materials on various military mental health topics. The Toolkits were presented to military families for evaluation.
Overall, families indicated that they found the presentations “extremely helpful.” As a result of the positive feedback, additional Toolkits continue to be prepared and presented on meaningful and relevant subjects to surviving family of military service members. In 2013, five TCSPP students provided 600 service hours to 190 ICFF program participants.
Sponsored by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, VIDA (Vital Intervention and Directional Alternatives) is a comprehensive re-directional program for youth identified as high risk for gang involvement and for offending. Program participants undergo a rigorous 16-week program consisting of life skills learning, a physical “boot camp” facilitated by deputies, and family group classes with their parents.
Since 2009, TCSPP students and faculty have been engaged in all aspects of VIDA; from facilitating the curriculum-based family groups to providing individual and family sessions to accompanying deputies on home and school visits, as well as assisting in the development of student and family manuals. In 2013, 21 TCSPP students provided 604 service hours to 105 VIDA program participants.
The Chicago School’s Washington, D.C. Campus is affiliated with more than 90 local hospitals, community mental health centers, correctional facilities, private practices and other groups. These affiliations allow students to sharpen their skills and helps partners reduce the cost of care to the individuals they serve.“Beyond their curricular community-based work, students on the Washington, D.C. Campus fulfill their passion for service through student organizations,” said Heather Sheets, Psy.D. Washington, D.C. Campus Dean. “Each semester, groups like the Forensic Psychology Association and the Military Psychology Student Association host events, raise funds, and volunteer time to help improve the psychosocial functioning of individuals and families in our community.”