Coker Named to National Community Service Honor Roll

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – March 6, 2013 – Coker College was named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll this week at the annual meeting of the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.

Awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Honor Roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities.

“Coker College’s selection to the Honor Roll is recognition from the highest levels of the federal government of Coker’s commitment to service and civic engagement on campus and in our nation,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

The program is part of the CNCS commitment to engage millions of college students in service and celebrate the critical role of higher education in strengthening communities.

In preparing Coker’s application for the Honor Roll program, assistant dean and director of Coker’s Center for Engaged Learning Darlene Small elected to highlight three innovative projects of particular relevance to the educational mission of the College.

Thornwell School for the Arts-Color Game Mural

Twenty-nine students enrolled in a basic design course at Coker created a mural at the Thornwell School for the Arts in Hartsville.  Based on an invented color game that teaches elementary school students basic concepts of color, the mural also illustrates the six named pathways to success, which are fundamental to the School Development Program developed by Dr. James P. Comer of the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center.

Thornwell is one of four local schools that are employing the Dr. Comer’s method as part of PULSE, a public-private partnership between the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, the Darlington County School District, Coker College and Sonoco. PULSE is designed to improve academic achievement and personal development of students through collaborative academic initiatives.  It is funded by Sonoco and administered locally by the TEACH Foundation.

Ruby Elementary - Quality Literature Advocacy Project

Three Coker students enrolled in an education course titled"Connecting Home School and Community" raised money to purchase more than 70 children’s books for the media center in Ruby Elementary School in Chesterfield County, S.C., a community in which nearly 4,000 children live in poverty. Advocating for increased use of quality literature in early childhood and elementary classrooms, Coker’s students raised $815 and increased public awareness for children’s need for books that contain well developed characters and plot along with strong writing style and language, books that allow children to feel as if they are a part of the story.

SAT Prep for High School Students

Coker Enactus (previously Students In Free Enterprise) expanded the SAT Prep Project it began last year. Seeking to better support under served high school students who have the ability to perform well on the Scholastic Aptitude Test, the nation’s most widely used college admission exam, Coker students partnered with The Reverend John Foster, a professor of English at Coker, and St. Bartholomew's Parish to implement the program. Through workshops conducted over four full days with groups of 25 rising high school juniors and seniors at Darlington High School and Timmonsville High School, students received subject matter instruction, test-taking strategies, practice tests and free preparation materials for use during the workshop and for studying on their own.  Based on practice test results, students who participated in the program could expect to increase their SAT score by 130 points on average.

Coker’s Center for Engaged Learning administers internships, study abroad experiences and community service programs that focus on enhancing the learning of each student by guaranteeing them the opportunity to participate in valuable experiential programs. Through the Center, students are made aware of and exposed to the benefits of philanthropy and volunteerism.

A sampling of local and regional projects facilitated this year by the Center for Engaged Learning will be showcased at a poster display from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, March 25 at the Library-Information Technology Center as part of the college’s annual Celebration of Academics, March 25-27.

For more information about Coker’s Center for Engaged Learning, visit



Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.



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