Volunteer program at CCC honored Association praises nTC management training

November 12, 1996|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

Carroll Community College's year-old program that trains people to manage volunteers has earned the school an international award from the Association for Volunteer Administration.

College President Joseph F. Shields returned last month from Canada, where he received the Organization Service Award plaque from the association at the International Conference on Volunteerism in Calgary, Alberta.

"It's never been given to a college or university in the past," Shields said. "It kind of puts us in the big leagues on this one."

Past recipients include United Way of America, the Peace Corps, Habitat for Humanity, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Association of Junior Leagues, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

"Many colleges and universities have something of this nature, but Carroll has developed an exemplary program," said Carol Todd, chairwoman of the awards committee and a retired trainer of volunteers for Norwich University in Northfield, Vt.

She said the depth of the Carroll program, which requires 75 hours of course work, much of it taught by adjunct faculty members who work in the community, distinguished it from others across the country.

The college's volunteer management program enrolls employees of hospitals, charities and other organizations that rely on volunteers. The volunteer managers choose from 35 course offerings to meet their 75-hour requirement, including electives and six core classes in such subjects as public relations, volunteer recruitment, program administration and ethics.

More than 250 people have taken at least some of the courses, and 24 have completed the program.

Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend spoke at the graduation this summer. Among the graduates were people working in nursing homes, hospitals and agencies across Maryland.

Betty Marler, who manages volunteers for Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, completed the program this summer. Even though volunteers aren't paid, managing them is more complicated than it was years ago, she said.

For example, volunteers have "service descriptions," similar to job descriptions for paid staff members.

"It used to be they'd just walk in and say, 'I want to work,' " said Marler. "Now, there's a process they have to go through to be volunteers."

Of the 24 who completed the Carroll program, six took the courses through interactive video technology, in which Carroll Community College broadcasts the classes live via compressed video to Frostburg State University.

The volunteer management program grew from discussions between college staff members and local community service agencies. The agencies were facing an onslaught of teens wanting to volunteer in order to meet Maryland's recently enacted service requirement. Students must complete the equivalent of 75 hours of service to earn a diploma, beginning with those who graduate in 1997.

"They were concerned about who was going to manage all these people," Shields said.

Todd said the Association for Volunteer Administration admired the college's responding to fill a void and appreciated that the courses were developed using the association's standards as guidelines.

"They have clearly made an effort to meet the educational needs of people in their area," Todd said. "They've used professionals in the field to help develop the curriculum and teach as adjunct faculty to bring the practical side" to the courses.

Todd is a past winner of the association's service award, for her work at Norwich.

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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