WASHINGTON, PA (Aug. 23, 2016) - For the fifth consecutive year, Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) is a Lead Advisory Institution for NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE).
The recognition marks W&J as a leader in the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) network. The 74 member colleges and universities encourage and highlight student life offices that make civic learning and democratic engagement a part of every student’s college education.
“By becoming a lead institution, we serve as an example of civic engagement work,” said Justin Dandoy, W&J’s director of community engagement. “The greater NASPA community is looking to the lead institutions for best practices, so it’s an honor to be chosen.”
NASPA provides professional development training, advocacy, and research for student affairs staff in colleges and universities globally. NASPA’s Lead Initiative brings together higher education professionals to share information and highlight success stories of campus civic engagement efforts.
“They look at those CLDE initiatives, including things like student voter registration, civic participation, social activism, community-based efforts, and local and world engagement,” Dandoy said. “This is a network where schools can share resources and information about what they are doing and what’s working for them.”
W&J students, staff, and faculty serve the community of Washington, Pa. and beyond in a number of ways each year. College volunteers assist every month with Produce to People, an effort of the Greater Washington County Food Bank. The College also is a member of Food Recovery Network, a national organization that enables campuses to send their unused food to homeless shelters.
Students also participate in Washington County Habitat for Humanity, lead tutoring sessions and other activities for local students at the Lemoyne Community Center, volunteer their time at local libraries and churches, with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and in the Volunteer Community Health Coach program.
“W&J is a good representation of small liberal arts colleges and we can represent that block in a positive way,” Dandoy said. “We have unique things here. The ways in which our students are engaging outside of campus is a key element. Our CLDE comes from the Magellan Project, study abroad, and Washington Fellows projects, plus other programs. Community initiatives don’t just come from this office. It’s part of the greater fabric of W&J.”
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.