Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State students again No. 1 in community service

August 25, 2014

Indiana State University has once again earned the Washington Monthly College Guide's top ranking for community service by students among 277 national universities.

"It is always great to be No. 1 but it is especially gratifying to accomplish it two years in a row," university President Dan Bradley said. "This national ranking is the result of a lot of hard work by our students, faculty and staff. It demonstrates the commitment our university has made to community engagement. This is not a one-time thing, this is who we are."

The ranking is based on the number of students participating in community service and the total number of service hours performed, both relative to school size.

From 2010 to 2013, Indiana State students averaged more than 1.4 million hours of service per year to 115 agencies, according to the university's Center for Community Engagement. More than 1,800 incoming freshmen took part in the university's annual Fall Donaghy Day of Service last week prior to the start of classes.

"Our partnership with Indiana State University is vital to our mission," said Charlie Welker, chief executive officer of Wabash Valley Health Center, formerly St. Ann Clinic. "Our facility serves as a training site for a variety of ISU programs. As a result, our patients are able to receive services they may not otherwise have access to. I continue to witness firsthand the difference ISU students are making in our community."

Indiana State ranked third in the nation in the general category of service, which also takes into account institutional support for service learning, the percentage of federal work-study money that goes to service, number of alumni who go on to serve in the Peace Corps, relative to school size, and percentage of ROTC students.

"This ranking does not just happen by accident," said Nancy Rogers, associate vice president for experiential learning and community engagement. "We are fortunate to have outstanding faculty and staff who make a personal investment of their time and resources into engaging our students in the community. The efforts of our community partners are quite remarkable. Our colleagues in the community play a critical role in teaching our students. We also have great students at Indiana State. They are compassionate, generous with their time and always rise to the occasion when asked to serve."

For students, community service is one of their first experiences at Indiana State, said Erin Sluyter, a junior from Terre Haute whose service has included an Alternative Spring Break trip where she worked with unwed mothers in the Dominican Republic.

"Every day there are opportunities to serve and to give back," she said. "It's really taught me a lot about the needs of my community but also the needs of the world so it's pretty special to be an Indiana State student with all of the opportunities we're given."

Indiana State is No. 30 in Washington Monthly's overall rankings of national universities for 2014. In addition to service, the overall rankings take into account social mobility - recruiting and graduating low income students - and research. Among six Indiana universities appearing in the rankings, only Notre Dame ranks higher.

"Instead of crediting colleges that reject the most applicants," Washington Monthly said in releasing its annual rankings, "(we give) high marks to institutions that contribute to society, enroll low-income students, help them graduate and don't charge a fortune to attend."

Photo: - Erin Sluyter (left), an Indiana State University junior from Terre Haute, talks about her community service activities at an Aug. 25, 2014 news conference concerning the 2014 Washington Monthly College Guide which ranks Indiana State students No. 1 in community service among 277 national universities. Also at the announcement were (from left) university President Dan Bradley, Nancy Rogers, associate vice president for community engagement and experiential learning, and Charlie Welker, CEO of Wabash Valley Health Center, one of the university's many community service partners. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Photo: - Students help with construction of a Habitat for Humanity House Aug. 18, 2014 during Indiana State University's Fall Donaghy Day of Service. (ISU/Rachel Keyes)

Graphic: - A Washington Monthly College Guide 2014 badge.

Contact: Nancy Rogers, associate vice president for experiential learning and community engagement, Indiana State University, 812-237-2474 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or


Story Highlights

Indiana State University has once again earned the Washington Monthly College Guide's top ranking for community service by students among 277 national universities.

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