Addressing Community Needs by Student Involvement
To address community needs through collaborative campus and community partnerships that support student learning and promote civic responsibility.
What is Service Learning?
- Integration of community service with academic instruction through a focus on critical, reflective thinking, and civic responsibility.
- Type of experiential education in which learning takes place through a cycle of action and reflection. The main difference between volunteerism and service learning is the reflective, critical review of the experience.
- Allows student within the context of a class apply what they are learning to community problems.
- Allows students to address local needs within our community while developing academic skills, a sense of civic responsibility, and a commitment to the community.
How is a Service Learning site selected?
- Potential Sites are listed in an Agency Profile Handbook.
- Instructors have the opportunity to decide on community sites used for their individual class.
- Service-Learning can be offered in a wide array of opportunities to support multiple academic disciplines.
How is the volunteer experience (service) related back to the classroom (learning)?
- Instructors determine the reflective portion of Service Learning.
- Journal of experience which could include personal goals, agency goals, questions and problems that were encountered; what the experience was like; how did your service make a difference in the community; what did you learn about yourself; etc.
- Oral presentation
- Any other reflective opportunity as determined by instructor
What do community colleges have to say about Service Learning?
- Students learn more, make better grades, and complete courses at a higher rate.
- Service Learning offers a opportunity to meet and network with civic minded community leaders.
- Student learn about community/civic organizations within their community.
- Students report a strong sense of satisfaction about their service to people, the environment, and the community.
How can Service Learning benefit our college?
- Enhanced teaching and outreach activities.
- Faculty and student engagement in community issues.
- Extend college knowledge and resources.
- Expand community relationships community/civic organizations.
- Increased development and preparation of college graduates.
- Offers students a grade-related incentive
- Lack of time given other demands
- Integration of subject matter to community needs
- Difficulty in relating course objectives to service activities
- Promotes tolerance and appreciation for diversity
- Fear of working with unfamiliar issues and diverse populations
- Promotes civic responsibility, self- worth, and leadership skills
- Inspires and innovates teaching methods
- Impact of service learning is not easily quantified
- Creates a different perspective on learning; gives opportunity for professional and personal review
- Lack of time and institutional or departmental support (example: restructuring of syllabus to integrate service learning)
- Connects curriculum to community, increasing awareness of current societal issues as they relate to academic areas of interest
- Viewing service learning as soft or nonacademic learning
- Builds a classroom community; enhances and establishes relationships with people in the community
Community Partner Benefits
Community Partner Challenges
- Builds community awareness of college programs and services
- Finding the best opportunity that will support student learning and meet community needs
- Opportunity for additional human resources, which provide new perspectives and ideas
- Lack of time for proper orientation, training, and supervision
- Agencies? abilities to address underserved needs are extended
- Value of the student time commitment versus the investment of agency time
- Creates opportunities to enhance student civic responsibilities
Service Learning Forms:
Service Learning Agency Profile
Service Learning Application
Service Learning Agreement/Statement of Risk
Service Learning Time Log/Evaluation
Ten Steps to Develop Service Learning in the Classroom
Ideas for project types: 101 Ideas For Combining Service & Learning
NC Campus Compact: www.elon.edu/nccc
Civic Education Consortium: www.civics.org
National Campus Compact: www.campuscompact.org
Campus Compact: www.compact.org
Community College National Center for Community Engagement: www.mc.maricopa.edu/other/engagement
Points of Light Foundation: www.pointsoflight.org/resources
Civic Practices Network: www.cpn.org/index.html
The Grass Roots Organization: www.grass-roots.org/links.shtml
Farmers Insurance Service Learning: www.farmers.com/FarmComm/AmericanPromise/ap_acts/act_service.html