There was a general “group think” among community leaders, administrators, and legislatures that requiring students to participate in community service projects would help introduce them to the value of giving back, while at the same time it would be a good way they could repay the community for subsidizing their educations.In Nassau County, New York, the Roslyn and Hewlett-Woodmere districts approved a program that required students, beginning with the class of 1997, to take a one-semester, half-credit, community-service course and to complete a minimum of 30 hours of field work to graduate.(This was raised to 40 hours for the next class.) A neighboring county, Suffolk, instituted a similar program. Barnes was quoted to say, “We believe that community service is a must for all students.”In 1997, the state of Maryland instituted a statewide mandatory community service high school graduation requirement.
I guarantee some of you won’t graduate because of the community service requirement.
You can be a 4.0 student and get into any college you want, but you won’t graduate because of the community service requirement.” Even without mandated community service programs, as the admissions process to college became more competitive, students were advised to complete community service in order to improve their chances of being admitted.
As a result of political, cultural, and legislative focus on community service, the number of college students who participated in community services while in high school has steadily increased over the past two decades.
According to the Cooperative Intuitional Research Program, about one-third of first-year college students graduated from high schools with some type of requirement for service.
Most colleges embraced community service as a founding principal of their college.
Harvard and Yale were founded to educate missionaries who could spread out into the distant areas of the growing United States and carry the Presbyterian message.
The College of William and Mary was founded to produce graduates that could minister to Indians and attempt to convert them to Christianity.
Look at the missions of almost any college and you will see community service being a core part of the college culture.
Some, over time, like the high schools, mandated community service hours in order for students to graduate.