The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design was recently named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities that support exemplary community service programs and best practices in campus-community partnerships.
MIAD distinguishes itself as a leader in art and design colleges by being one of the first to implement a required Service Learning Program comprising intensive courses and a minimum of 35 hours of community service per student.
The program formalized MIAD’s recognition that an education based on realizing one’s own creative potential must include active citizenship and community participation, and the direct application of the core values of passion; commitment and dedication; lifelong learning; and critical thinking and problem solving to societal challenges. Creating Productive Relationships in the Community is one of MIAD’s assessed Learning Outcomes, and the college’s commitment to service permeates its culture, institutionally and individually.
MIAD’s Service Learning Program is generously supported by Northwestern Mutual Foundation, which also provides an annual scholarship to a student honored at the Annual Service Learning Symposium.
Among MIAD’s 200 community partners, several emphasized the impact of MIAD Service Learners.
At Artists Working in Education (A.W.E.), 15 students made an impact during 2010-2011 through Truck Studio programs, School Studio residency programs and Summer Truck Studio programs.
Alumna Mary Osmundsen ’97, Program Coordinator at A.W.E., remarked, “The invaluable creativity and boundless energy of Service Learners helped us impact 14,766 children in Milwaukee and to increase that number by their presence. Many Service Learners become so invested in their work that they stay on well past their required commitment, and many are hired for positions in the Truck Studio program.”
Students also fulfilled Service Learning at Hope House, an emergency and transitional facility/community center that provides complete services for homeless and low-income individuals.
Hope House Youth Service Supervisor Patrick Schrank said, “MIAD Service Learners directly enabled Hope House to … achieve and sustain its goal of having 85% of the youth make academic improvement and develop socially each month, despite being in transition. Service Learners directly impact the more than 9,000 hours achieved by Hope House through educational workshops alone.”
Kenneth Leinbach, director of the Urban Ecology Center, which is located near MIAD’s residence hall and where many students perform their Service Learning, described MIAD students as “the most talented, dedicated and creative collegiate thinkers I encounter, who do not wait to be told what to do, but take action and resolve challenges.”
The President’s Honor Roll is overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum and the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships.
First image: Ben Rothschild ’08, Academic Service Learning Assistant, at LaCausa Crisis Nursery working with children on “Gertie” sculpture
Second image: Student working at the Urban Ecology Center