Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning

Civic Responsibility at Jackson State University

The Alice Varnado Harden Center for Service and Community Engaged Learning at Jackson State University, (the Harden Center) promotes all students toward improving the human condition through civic engagement. Through the Harden Center, the university is able to continue to expand its role in cultivating and sustaining stronger communities. While the university provides excellence in educating its students, it also believes that connecting student learning with civic responsibility is fundamental to the academic environment for students who earn their degree at Jackson State University. To that end, the Harden Center supports students, faculty and staff toward a commitment to lifelong citizenship locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The Harden Center assists students in developing the skills necessary to be civically responsible citizens and to take action on social issues that are important to them.

To support this goal, the Harden Center provides a range of programs that promote civic engagement at JSU including : (1) Alternative Breaks, (2) AmeriCorps-Bonner, (3) Community Service (volunteerism), (4) Service-Learning Ambassador, (5) Service-Learning and (6) the National Student Exchange. Programs offered in the Harden Center are often collaborations with other departments and colleges serving a diverse population throughout the community.

Getting involved in civic engagement at Jackson State University is very simple. The Harden Center promotes social action through campus-community partnerships, faculty scholarship and student involvement and provides information on a wide variety of opportunities for community involvement.

In October 2006, Jackson State University and the Harden Center gained national recognition from President George W. Bush, for its commitment to community service in response to Hurricane Katrina. Since its initial recognition, the university and the Center were again recognized in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Last year through the Center nearly 4,210 students provided 172,710 hours of service to off-campus communities. Additionally, in 2010, the university received the Carnegie Designation for Community Service.