The Corporation for National and Public Service has named North Carolina Central University a national finalist for its 2012 President’s Award, which recognizes colleges and universities around the country for their volunteer efforts in the community.

The corporation, which has administered the honor roll program since 2006, evaluated 642 schools for their service performance. Of that total, 513 were named to the honor roll, 110 received honor roll recognition “with distinction,” 14 (including NCCU) were identified as finalists, and five received the Presidential Award. One of those five was North Carolina State University.

“This is great news,” said Dr. Deborah Bailey, director of NCCU’s Academic Community Service Learning Program. “Last year we were on the honor roll with distinction, and this year we’re a national finalist. We’ve been climbing in the rankings every year as service has permeated the campus culture.”

NCCU was the first institution in the UNC System to require students to perform community service in order to graduate. Undergraduate students perform a minimum of 15 hours of service per semester.

The Corporation for National and Public Service oversees the honor roll program in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact, and the American Council on Education. Honorees are chosen based on a range of factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes.