ACG is working towards providing supporting substantial improvement to the social and environmental well-being of communities. We strive to be meaningfully socially responsible and sustainable in all of our activities.
We have a long track record of significant community service and engagement mainly through public partnerships, events and activities.
ACG proactively promotes:
- Best practice standards, respect and accountability across all of its activities
- Equity and diversity
- Fairness and respect among employees including wide support of personal development activities
- Implementation of practices, activities and systems that are environmentally friendly and robust
- Volunteering, including students, staff & faculty
- Socially beneficial interaction with our regional local community and NGO’s
ACG’s Social Impact
Social Impact of the American College of Greece – ACG Cares!
Since its founding in 1875, ACG has been a socially responsible institution and an integral part of the community in which it always operated. Its motto “To serve, not to be served” is characteristic of the role it always assumed and it has remained the guiding principle throughout its long and distinguished history.
Responding effectively to the social impact challenge is one of our core strategic goals. As a leading academic institution in Greece, we fully acknowledge our duty to maximize our contribution to the community, both local and broader, and create tangible results through our teaching, research, service, events and activities. We also recognize that in doing so, we need to perform so as to maintain a balance between the economy and the ecosystems. We strive to secure a promising, just, inclusive and environmentally sustainable future for all.
Most importantly, we aim at making access to quality education easier for all through a broad program of scholarships and financial aid programs
Areas of Social Impact
1. Assisting access to quality education
1a. Financial Assistance & Scholarships
Throughout its long history, The American College of Greece (ACG) has provided assistance to students needing help in meeting their educational expenses, thereby enabling students with demonstrated ability and promise to access a quality education, regardless of their financial circumstances. The Financial Assistance Program at ACG provides various levels of financial assistance based on need and/or academic achievement. The governing philosophy of our program is grounded in our belief that lack of funds should never prevent academically talented students from receiving a quality education. Funding for financial assistance originates from the College’s own resources and from the generous contributions of donors.
1b. Education Unites: From Camp to Campus
Education Unites: From Camp to Campus is a program co-sponsored by the US embassy and by the three American colleges in Greece. Deree – the American College in Greece will award a total of 100 scholarships to refugees in Athens for the academic year 2017-2018, giving them the opportunity to study in a university setting and to begin taking steps to resume their education and start planning for their professional futures. This is a one-year, certificate program and students are taking courses determined by their level of English – some students are taking intensive English-language courses and others are enrolled in college courses for credit.
Students in this program represent the various countries of the Middle East and Africa present in the refugee population in Athens. There is a great diversity in their educational backgrounds and interests – students have studied before law, medicine, pharmacology, business and IT, fashion design, graphic design, and other arts. Thanks to a tailor-made program designed around their needs, they are adapting easily to life at Deree and are gradually adding their powerful voices and perspectives to the American college in Greece community.
1c. Supporting Symplefsi
In April 2017 ACG launched a collaboration with NGO Symplefsi and participated in the 2017 visit to a number of small, remote islands in Greece, aiming at supporting local schools by offering specialized educational material, IT equipment and free participation to ACG summer programs for local students.
2. Empowering our Community
2a. Supporting the Aghia Paraskevi communityACG is committed to using its resources in support of the local community of Aghia Paraskevi, where it is located and operates, through:
- Aghia Paraskevi Scholarships:
In 1994, ACG established “The Aghia Paraskevi Scholarships” to support young residents who have excelled academically but luck the funds, to study at the American College of Greece and receive high quality education. These scholarships are awarded at the College’s discretion, based on its annual funds. They provide full tuition reduction for the duration of the recipients’ studies at the College.
- Soup Kitchen of Aghia Paraskevi Municipality:
Since 2013, ACG systematically supports the Municipality’s Soup Kitchen through monetary and in-kind donations. All offers are a result of student-lead activities taking place throughout the year at both Pierce and Deree, especially during the Christmas and Easter periods.
- Supporting local suppliers
ACG encourages the support of the local market and wherever possible, both the institution as a whole, as well as individual members of the ACG community, choose to buy local goods and services or collaborate with local vendors, suppliers and contractors. An ever growing number of international students studying at Deree and living in the ACG residencies also contribute to the strengthening of the local economy.
- Supporting events at Aghia Paraskevi
ACG offers free of charge a number of its top-quality facilities to local schools, organizations and public authorities in order to host social, athletic and cultural events and activities, open to the general public or targeted audiences.
2b. Supporting the broader local community
Members of the ACG community regularly participate in a wide range of volunteer activities and contribute in various ways by supporting a large number of Non -Governmental Organizations or public authorities, with monetary or in kind donations, social visits and consultations. Additionally, a number of cultural, social, business or other events, open to the general public and free of charge, are regularly organized, co-organized or hosted in the Aghia Paraskevi campus, the down-town ALBA campus, as well as at the Plaka Building where the Institute of Public Health and the Institute of Diplomacy & Global Affairs are based.
- Academic Impact
A number of educational conferences, seminars and workshops are also held in our premises throughout the year, free of charge and open to all audiences and especially students. In this context, a number of events are organized by various ACG academic departments, the Institute of Diplomacy & Global Affairs, the Institute of Public Health and the Center of Excellence for Sustainability, bringing top-quality scholars to present on a variety of topics.
A special public event, the American Studies Seminar, is organized annually, in collaboration with the US Embassy and the Institute of International Relations of Panteion University.
- The ACG Community Service Day
Volunteering and participation in community service activities form a major part of ACG’s social contribution and impact. In Fall 2016, the college established the «ACG Community Service Day». Twice a year, celebrating Thanksgiving & Easter spirit, members of the ACG Community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) get together voluntarily and offer their personal time, skills and services to give back to the community. In Spring 2017, a group of 60 members of the ACG community, in collaboration with the municipality technical services, revamped a public square in Aghia Paraskevi, turning it into a beautiful, comfortable and clean area for children and all family members to enjoy. In fall 2016, a similar group renovated part of a refugee center in Athens and engaged with hosted families through a number of fun and creating activities.
- Meaningful Engagement Program
Through a specially designed Meaningful Engagement Program, involving community service on the field, Deree students, both Greek and international, are learning how to: prepare for a service learning trip/activity, act responsibly and stay healthy & safe as field-workers, assess real community needs and work as a team to identify appropriate actions, critically reflect on own motivation and group’s methods and interact with members of the local community to satisfy specific needs. Established in 2016 as a yearly activity, students have already visited Trikala and Samos, engaging in a number of volunteer activities in support of local as well as refugee residents in these areas.
- Institute of Public Health at ACG (IPH)
Since September 2015 when it was established at ACG, the primary focus of the Institute is the reduction of smoking in Greece, especially of young people, through a multi-faceted agenda, including weekly education seminars for school-age children in three cities (Athens, Thessaloniki, Tegaia), research and scholarly publications, presentations by prominent speakers on a variety of topics related to tobacco, as well as production and distribution for free of relevant public service information material. IPH’s overall support of the Anti-Smoking Campaign in Greece develops under the broader “Smokefreegreece” initiative. Additionally, members of the Institute of Public Health participate to “Symplefsi’s” annual visits offering free pulmonary tests and consultation while also educating youngsters and offering them printed material about the hazards of smoking (http://smokefreegreece.gr/)
IPH’s activities add substantially to the overall ACG’s social impact in the broader Greek community. IPH’s goal is to enhance even further ACG’s social footprint through meaningful collaborations with select NGOs and other private or public entities that are engaged in health-related areas –among them the Hellenic Cancer Society, one of the main partners of IPH in its fight against tobacco use.
3. Enhancing Environmental Sustainability
3a. Green Roof ProgramOne short, intensive vocational course developing practical skills enabling participants to install a green roof is offered annually, free of charge and it is open to students as well as the general public. All aspects of green roof installation are covered including, health & safety, waterproofing, water drainage and water storage, substrates, plants and irrigation. Reference is made to the history of green roofing both locally and internationally, along with the benefits of green roofs. The different types of green roofs are discussed, comparing the suitability of each for the local climate and architecture. This course focuses on green roofs in the Mediterranean region.
2017 ACG Social Impact by Numbers
Caring for Our People
ACG is fully committed to providing a working environment which promotes the well-being of all stakeholders and every individual using the campus. Our main goal is to continuously improve the health, safety and wellbeing. ACG has so far managed to achieve an exemplary safe and healthy environment (Top Performer in AASHE’s Sustainable Campus Index 2016 SCI).
We continue to
- Improve working conditions through appropriate employment policies
- Develop human resource policies towards establishing an environment of equality and diversity
- Offer state-of-the-art athletic facilities to all ACG members and the local community.
- Provide nutrition counseling & nursing services