The American Association of State Colleges and Universities has awarded Fresno State its fifth Excellence and Innovation Award, this time in the category of civic learning and community engagement.
The award recognizes The Humanics Program in the College of Social Sciences and the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning for their commitment to fostering student learning, civic skill building and partnering with the community to solve pressing problems.
With this award, Fresno State ties Northwest Missouri State University for receiving the most awards since AASCU started recognizing member institutions in 2014. The AASCU awards honor universities for their approach to achieving student success, regional and economic development, international education, teacher education, leadership development and diversity.
“This prestigious national award honors the passion and commitment our students, faculty and staff model in developing a culture of engagement and service, which elevates the Central Valley and beyond,” said Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro.
Fresno State’s Humanics Program trains students with a passion for philanthropy and enriching the community to work in the nonprofit sector. The program has raised funds for Students4Giving seed grants that help regional community benefit organizations build their programs. More than 250 students have earned a Humanics Programs’ Certificate in Administration and Leadership for Community Benefit Organizations.
Through the Richter Center, students, faculty and staff have contributed more than 1 million hours of community service each year over the last decade by volunteering at events, participating in beautification and clean-up projects, service-learning projects, working with children and more. The estimated economic impact of these hours, provided by more than 40 University programs and initiatives, is more than $42 million based on calculations from the Independent Sector.
Fresno State won AASCU’s Student Success and College Completion Award in 2017 for its accomplishments as part of the California State University Graduation Initiative 2025. The University won the International Education Award in 2015 for its work to expand international recruitment of faculty and students and to increase study abroad opportunities. In 2014, Fresno State received two AASCU awards: the Leadership Development and Diversity Award and the Christa McAuliffe Excellence in Teacher Education Award.
AASCU is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems that share a learning and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.
This year’s award adds to a banner year of national accolades for Fresno State, including its sixth Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine last month, and high rankings by U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly magazine.