Willamette University was one of six colleges honored by the Corporation for National and Community Service for exemplary community service on the 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Willamette University was chosen as a 'Service to Youth from Disadvantaged Circumstances' awardee due to its commitment to serving youth through Willamette Academy and the Chemawa Indian School. The award recognizes more than 700 colleges and universities nationwide and is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to volunteering, service‐learning, and civic engagement.
The CollegeBoard recognized Willamette Academy as extremely effective in serving Latino populations in its recent “Resources for Increasing Latino Participation and Success in Higher Education” guide. Willamette Academy was the only college access program recognized in Oregon along with other national organizations such as Educational Talent Search and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. This is an outstanding validation of the success of Willamette Academy as a standard‐setting leader for college access programs nationwide with proven results.
The Oregonian recently nominated Willamette Academy as one of the state’s 'Beacons of Achievement' and one of the great successes of the last 20 years. Willamette Academy was nominated alongside three other education organizations – the Chalkboard Project, Self‐Enhancement Inc., and the Smart program. The Academy was nominated because of its successful partnerships with the Salem‐Keizer School District and other community organizations to reach out to historically underrepresented communities and empower students to be the first in their families to attend college.