(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California students have a long and rich tradition of participation in community service which should be recognized, commended, and expanded.
(2) There is a growing national consensus that student participation in community services enhances the undergraduate experience.
(3) Student community service is an activity of extreme importance to the mission of the university and deserves to be conducted both for academic credit and otherwise.
(4) The state’s postsecondary educational institutions are charged to maintain a tradition of public service as well as teaching and research.
(5) Access to the privilege of attending the university is made possible for many by our state’s tradition of keeping fees and tuition low.
(6) Practical learning experiences in the real world are valuable for the development of a student’s sense of self, skills, and education.
(7) Our state faces enormous unmet human needs and social challenges including undereducated children, increasing illiteracy and teenage parenting, environmental contamination, homelessness, school dropouts, and growing needs for elder care.
(8) The state’s ability to face these challenges requires policymakers to find creative and cost-effective solutions including increased efforts for community and student public service.
(9) The Legislature and the State of California provide substantial incentives and subsidies for its citizens to attend the state’s postsecondary education institutions, public and private, which are among the finest in the world.
(10) Current volunteer efforts conducted by community organizations reach only a fraction of the need. The need for public service is great because private, state, and federal funding are insufficient to pay for all the social services needed.
(11) Existing community service efforts have successfully demonstrated that participation in public service is of mutual benefit to participating students and the recipients of their services.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this article to do all of the following:
(1) Complete the college experience by providing students an opportunity to develop themselves and their skills in real-world learning experiences.
(2) To help nurture a sense of human community and social responsibility in our college students.
(3) Invite the fullest possible cooperation between postsecondary education institutions, schools, public, private, and nonprofit agencies, and philanthropies to plan, fund, and implement expanded opportunities for student participation in community life through public service in organized programs.
(4) To substantially increase college student participation in community services, with the ultimate goal of 100 percent participation.