Ford Supports Community-Based Student Learning at Nine Colleges and Universities with $225,000 in Grants

Sep 05, 2013, 10:00 ET from Ford Motor Company

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Ford Motor Company Fund awards $225,000 in Ford College Community Challenge grants to nine universities and colleges to support the growing trend of service learning on campus
  • The grants will support a variety of student-led projects including development of a mobile app for food banks, rainwater collection systems, urban gardens and diabetes education
  • Campus Compact, the nation's only organization supporting campus-based civic engagement, partnered with Ford Fund as part of its mission to promote public and community service that develops students' citizenship skills

Ford Motor Company Fund is awarding $225,000 in Ford College Community Challenge grants to nine colleges and universities in support of the growing trend of service learning on college campuses.

The Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3) is a national challenge grant competition that recognizes colleges and universities that utilize a school's resources to address an urgent community need related to the grant's theme:  Building Sustainable Communities. Unlike many college grant programs, Ford C3 requires colleges to create proposals that have significant student input, involvement and leadership from beginning to end. 

Campus Compact, the only national higher education association dedicated to campus-based civic engagement, partnered with Ford Fund on this year's grant program. The organization hosted a recent conference for academic leaders and students on past Ford C3 case studies. About 62% of its 1,200 member campuses require service-learning as part of the core curriculum, up from 51% in 2010.

"The Ford C3 winners, many of which are at Campus Compact member schools, are impressive examples of community engagement and service learning," said Maureen Curley, president of Campus Compact. "We are proud to be working with the Ford Fund which has shown tremendous leadership in supporting innovative campus community partnerships."

The 2013 Ford C3 winners are:

  • Arizona State University to support development of a mobile application to facilitate the recovery and delivery of rapidly perishable foods from food service businesses to hungry families in the suburbs of Phoenix
  • Brown University to work with a village in the Kuttanad region of Kerala, India, on locally-built rainwater collection systems operating under a pay-per-use model to provide a sustainable supply of potable water
  • College for Creative Studies to support student design and pilots of creative and easily replicable solutions for common challenges associated with urban farming in Detroit 
  • Essex County College for a rainwater harvesting system to reduce usage of city water at a model urban hydroponic food project that is increasing healthy food access in under-served areas of Newark, N.J.
  • Michigan State University for students in the College of Engineering to develop and test a teaching module, software libraries and cloud support to enable high school students in the Lansing, Mich., area to create Java programs that gather information about local energy usage
  • University of Michigan for designing and installing a net-zero water consumption system for the nation's oldest net-zero house, a demonstration project in Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • University of Texas at Arlington for creating videos for differing educational levels and language translations for use in combating diabetes among diverse populations in Arlington, Texas
  • Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond to support design of a web and phone-based application that combines existing transportation options with new technology for accessing services and schedules in Richmond, Va.
  • Wayne State University to expand urban farming, nutrition education, fresh produce sales to under-served groups and support for local growers in the Detroit area

"The Ford College Community Challenge is designed to leverage the talents and creativity of students to drive meaningful change in their communities," said Mike Schmidt, director of education programs, Ford Motor Company Fund. "We applaud these universities and colleges that are making student-led, community engagement a priority."

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company
(NYSE:  F). Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit

About Campus Compact
Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students' citizenship skills, helps forge effective community/campus partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. Campus Compact's membership includes public, private, two- and four-year institutions across the spectrum of higher education. For more information, visit

SOURCE Ford Motor Company