Nuts and Bolts of Service-Learning



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Nuts and Bolts of Service-Learning

  • Appreciation to Gail Robinson at the American Association of Community College, and Joshua Young at Miami Dade Community College for the use of their material. A special thank you to the Community College National Center for Community Engagement and the Corporation for National Service for funding and support for this workshop. Updated 1/5/07

Workshop Outcomes

  • Nuts and bolts of service-learning (S-L)
  • Reflection
  • What is civic responsibility? (CR)
  • Focus on importance of CR in higher education
  • Understand how to incorporate CR into syllabi
  • Learn how to incorporate CR into reflection exercises
  • Lets design a new syllabus with CR and S-L
  • Answer your questions

Self Reflection

  • Why did you become an educator?
  • Why do you work (or plan to work) in
  • service-learning?
  • Why have you integrated, or are thinking about integrating, service-learning into your courses or agency?
  • Why are you interested in civic responsibility?
  • GROWING SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Community Challenges

  • School drop out crisis
  • Gang violence
  • Break down of the family unit
  • The homeless
  • Domestic Violence
  • The elderly
  • Over burdened public safety

1980s loss of social responsibility

  • Decline in students finding “themselves”

The “me too” generation

  • The “me too” generation
  • Values changed to getting “ahead” in life
  • 60% wanted to make money
  • 20% wanted to make a lot of money!
  • “Value” system that included a great lifestyle
  • Idea of Social Responsibility

MCC Mission Statement

  • The mission of Mesa Community College is to promote excellence in teaching and learning, preparing individuals for active citizenship in a diverse global society. The College is a community resource for transfer education, career preparation, developmental education, economic development and continuous learning. Our ultimate purpose is to improve the quality life in the community we serve.

Accreditation The Higher Learning Commission

  • Criterion Five: Engagement and Service
  • As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.
  • WHAT DOES YOUR ACCREDITATING BODY LOOK FOR?

Service-Learning A National Movement in Higher Education

  • Service-Learning A National Movement in Higher Education
  • “My idea of citizenship has changed as a result of service-learning. Before this assignment, I believed that citizenship was only about voting and abiding by laws. We need to endorse our political efficacy… A civil society lacking active citizens possesses no enrichment, diversity, or meaning.”
  • service-learning student,
  • Miami-Dade College

Facts about Service-Learning

  • National movement
  • Proven effective
  • Academically rigorous
  • Tremendous benefits
  • Extensive resources available
  • Important & “the right thing to do”
  • Not expensive

  • Early Years
  • Skepticism
  • “Another Fad”
  • Should this be part of Higher Education?
  • Reliance on grant funding
  • On margins of institution
  • Unfamiliarity
  • Confusion about nuts and bolts
  • No infrastructure

Current Status

  • College-wide Centers
  • Internally funded and institutionalized (Annual budgets)
  • Full –Time Staff
  • Faculty Coordinators
  • Community Service FWS Student Coordinators
  • HOW DO YOU LIKE TO LEARN?

What is

  • What is
  • Service-Learning?
  • “Tell me and I’ll forget.
  • Show me and I will remember.
  • Involve me and I will understand.”
  • Old Chinese Proverb

SERVICE-LEARNING IS:

  • SERVICE-LEARNING IS:
  • The process of integrating thoughtfully organized service experiences with guided reflection to enhance student learning of course materials.
  • Service-learning is the combination of community service and classroom instruction, with a focus on critical, reflective thinking as well as personal and civic responsibility.
  • --American Association of Community Colleges
  • Service-Learning
  • …like learning to ride a bike!
  • --Richard Battistoni

Why Service-Learning?

  • How can we enhance student learning of course material?
  • How can we serve & collaborate with our community?
  • How can we foster our students’ sense of civic responsibility & commitment to the common good?
  • How can we reinvigorate teaching?
  • How can we fulfill our mission?

KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF SERVICE-LEARNING

  • Students are involved in course-relevant service which benefits the community
  • Offers a continuum of possibilities -- from single day service events to several hours a week for an entire semester

Structured opportunities are provided for students to reflect critically on their experience through a mix of writing, reading, speaking, listening, and group discussions

  • Structured opportunities are provided for students to reflect critically on their experience through a mix of writing, reading, speaking, listening, and group discussions

  • Service-learning gives academic credit for demonstrating learning achieved through the service, not just for putting in hours.
  • Encourages a greater understanding of social issues, civic responsibility, and a sense of caring for others

Goals

  • Goals
  • To enhance student learning of existing course competencies
  • To meet community needs
  • To foster civic responsibility
  • Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2001)

Academic Service-Learning

  • Relevant, meaningful service
  • Enhanced academic learning
  • Purposeful civic learning
  • --Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, Summer 2002

How is service-learning different from volunteerism, internships, community service….?

  • How is service-learning different from volunteerism, internships, community service….?

Distinctions Among Service Programs

  • Who is the primary intended beneficiary?
  • The service recipient or the person providing the service?
  • Volunteerism vs. Internships

Distinctions Among Service Programs

  • Is the focus on service or on learning?
  • Volunteerism vs. Internships

Service-Learning

  • An experiential education teaching strategy where ...
  • SERVICE-LEARNING - service & learning goals of equal weight and each enhances the other.

Service-Learning Examples

  • Marketing students create and implement a marking plan for a non-profit
  • Accounting students serve in the business offices of non-profits
  • Business students study minority entrepreneurs, create a publication and coloring book, and present to low-income school children
  • History students complete oral histories with senior citizens, create booklet, and hold event to celebrate the participants

Service-Learning Examples (cont.)

  • English composition students help non-profit write manuals/brochures; organize writing contest on civic responsibility for high school students; chose an issue, serve, and do all their writing about that issue and their service…
  • Nursing students adopt a homeless shelter and provide health care services once a week, every week
  • Environmental Science students teach school children lessons about protecting the environment.
  • Intro to Computers students help teach at a local technology center

Service and the

  • CHARITY
  • SOCIAL JUSTICE
  • Charity = social service
  • Provides direct services like food, clothing, shelter
  • Justice = social change
  • Promotes social change in institutions or political structures
  • Responds to immediate needs
  • Responds to long-term needs
  • Directed at the effects of injustice and its symptoms
  • Addresses problems that already exist
  • Directed at root causes or underlying structures of social problems
  • Tries to ensure the problems don’t exist in the first place
  • Private, individual acts
  • Public, collective actions
  • Examples of charity:
  • Homeless shelters
  • Food pantries
  • Clothing drives
  • Emergency services
  • Examples of social justice:
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Changing policies and practices
  • Political action
  • Education about an issue
  • How do you define civic responsibility?
  • AACC’s Definition of Civic Responsibility
  • Active participation in the public life of a community in an informed, committed, and constructive manner, with a focus on the common good.
  • Exercise 3.9 (Page 34)
  • Higher Education’s Role in Promoting Citizenship
  • “We [higher education] educate a large proportion of the citizens who bother to vote, not to mention most of the politicians, journalists, and news commentators. We also educate all the school administrators and teachers, who in turn educate everyone at the pre-college level. And we do much to shape the pre-college curriculum through what we require of our college applicants. In short, not only have we helped create the problems that plague American democracy, but we are also in a position to begin doing something about them. If higher education doesn’t start giving citizenship and democracy much greater priority, who will?” (Astin 1995)
  • Breakout 1
  • Exercise 3.9 (Page 34)
  • Higher Education’s Role in Promoting Citizenship
  • Reflection Questions
  • Do you think that our educational institutions are preparing students for a life of engaged, democratic citizenship?
  • How does service learning play a role in giving citizenship and democracy greater priority?
  • What specifically can higher education do to give citizenship and democracy greater priority?
  • Will involvement in service learning necessarily foster civic responsibility in students?
  • How can we create a culture of civic engagement that results in a more humane and just society?
  • How can service learning and civic responsibility relate to institutional accreditation standards?
  • Breakout 1

Making the Case for Service-Learning

Too many of us have become passive and disengaged. Too many of us lack confidence in our capacity to make basic moral and civic judgments, to join with our neighbors to do the work of community, to make a difference. Never have we had so many opportunities for participation, yet rarely have we felt so powerless. In a time that cries out for civic action, we are in danger of becoming a nation of spectators.

  • Too many of us have become passive and disengaged. Too many of us lack confidence in our capacity to make basic moral and civic judgments, to join with our neighbors to do the work of community, to make a difference. Never have we had so many opportunities for participation, yet rarely have we felt so powerless. In a time that cries out for civic action, we are in danger of becoming a nation of spectators.
  • --National Commission on Civic Renewal, 1998

Citizens must be engaged in both thought and action

  • Citizens must be engaged in both thought and action
  • Education is the key to civic engagement
  • Institutions of learning must prepare students for such activities
  • --John Dewey, 1916
  • We challenge you to assure that the next year’s entering students will graduate as individuals of character more sensitive to the needs of community, more competent to contribute to society, and more civil in habits of thought, speech, and action.
  • --Wingspread Group Report on Higher Education, 1993

If there is a crisis in education in the United States today, it is less that test scores have declined than it is that we have failed to provide the education for citizenship that is still the most significant responsibility of the nation’s schools and colleges.

  • If there is a crisis in education in the United States today, it is less that test scores have declined than it is that we have failed to provide the education for citizenship that is still the most significant responsibility of the nation’s schools and colleges.
  • --Frank Newman, 1985. Higher Education and the American Resurgence

What are the Service-Learning benefits to..

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Community/Agency/Clients
  • College

Benefits to Students

  • Enhance learning
  • Connect theory to practice
  • Promote critical thinking
  • Provide experience
  • Explore majors & careers
  • Foster civic responsibility
  • Encourage life-long commitment to service
  • Enhance employability
  • Break down barriers/promote understanding
  • Job offers, scholarships, self-esteem,....

Benefits for Faculty

  • Enhanced student learning (more engaged students)
  • Reinvigorated teaching
  • Improved relationships with students
  • Professional development
  • Research/publishing opportunities
  • Sense of making a difference

Benefits to the Community

  • Infusion of people power to help
  • Client/agency needs met
  • More informed/involved citizenry
  • New ideas and energy
  • New employees
  • Access to college resources
  • Reinvigorate supervisors/staff

Benefits to the College

  • Fulfillment of Mission
  • True partnership with tangible results
  • Higher quality graduates
  • Increased community support
  • Public relations/publicity
  • Improved learning
  • Benefit all stakeholders
  • WHAT IS REFLECTION?

Reflection – 4 “C’s”

WHAT IS REFLECTION?

  • The process of deriving meaning from experience
  • Reflection engages students in conscious, intentional, and critical thinking for the examination of their service experience
  • Reflection is what makes service SERVICE-LEARNING

REFLECTION TECHNIQUES

  • Journals (highlighted, double entry, key phrase…..)
  • Reflective essays
  • Directed writing
  • Experiential research paper
  • Directed readings
  • Group discussion
  • Etc..………

Journal Entry Guidelines

  • What are you seeing, hearing, observing while at your service site?
  • Experiences or incidents that support or refute ideas disused in class
  • Your own thoughts, feelings or values from your service

  • “Today I got to the nursing home at 2:00pm Talked to some ladies.
  • Passed out popcorn at the movie.
  • Went home at 4:00pm.”
  • From a student’s journal

  • “Working at the Homeless Shelter was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had.
  • I have learned so mush about becoming a nurse and how to care for patients. I can’t wait to graduate and really serve our community in the health field.”
  • From a student’s journal

What can the agency supervisor do to help students reflect/learn?

  • What can the agency supervisor do to help students reflect/learn?

Reflection Ideas for Agency Supervisors

  • Mission statement
  • Learning objectives/goals
  • Articles about your agency/clients/social problems
  • Exit interviews/questionnaires
  • “Mini research project”
  • Processing meetings
  • Written reflective assignments
  • Critical thinking questions

Agencies and the Students

  • Why do you want to do your service here?
  • What class are you doing this for?
  • May I see your syllabus?
  • Why did you choose this option?

Agency Responsibilities

  • Orientation
  • Training/Preparation
  • Supervision
  • Reflection
  • Communication with faculty
  • Recognition
  • Evaluation

  • Turning Challenges into Solutions
  • Table 2 (Page 48)
  • Service-Learning Activities
  • Service activities that address community needs
  • Related courses
  • Reflection components
  • Activities that foster civic responsibility skills
  • Assessment
  • Breakout 2
  • Exercise 4.1 (Page 53)
  • Syllabus and Course Analysis
  • What specific course material relates to CR?
  • Which learning outcomes directly relate to CR? Are they explicit in the syllabus?
  • Does the syllabus include a description of service learning projects and their relation to CR?
  • What are the specific opportunities for deliberate connections among your academic content, the value of CR, and community-based service experience?
  • How will the service experience be assessed? How will it relate to the learning of course material?
  • Breakout 3
  • Key Elements of Good Course Syllabi/Documents
  • Definition of and rationale for service learning and civic engagement
  • Information about service site selection or assignments
  • Course expectations (competencies, objectives, hours, dates and deadlines, reflection, grading or evaluation)
  • Consistent and frequent reference to service learning and civic responsibility
  • Breakout 3

  • Establishing Academic Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Results oriented
  • Timely

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Which course learning objectives are related to service?
  • What do you want your students to gain from the experience?

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Action – what types of service are appropriate for your course?

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Preparation – how will you prepare your students for the s-l experience?

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Reflection – what techniques will you use to guide/ensure student learning and successful service?

Reflective Assignments

  • Have students do a “research” paper on civic responsibility.
  • Have students research the characteristics of a good citizen.
  • Have students identify someone who is a good citizen and write an essay that describes the skills, attitudes, knowledge and behaviors that makes this person a good citizen.
  • Have students interview a “servant leader” in the community and write a report/essay on that.
  • Have students write about the connection between service, civic responsibility, and living in a democratic society.
  • Have students do a report/paper on the issue that their service project addresses.

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Course Integration – required, option, extra credit, number of hours, etc…

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Assessment – how will you evaluate/ assess/grade service-learning?
  • Assess learning demonstrated NOT
  • service completed

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Civic Responsibility – how will you ensure that students can articulate and understand civic responsibility, and develop the skills necessary to be a good citizen

S-L Course Development Worksheet

  • Recognition – how will you recognize and celebrate your students?

Best Practices/Lessons Learned

  • Gain administrative and faculty support
  • Encourage faculty leadership (faculty coordinator)
  • Emphasize academic rigor
  • Create infrastructure with space & staff
  • Provide on-going training of faculty and agency partners
  • Emphasize quality over quantity
  • Promote student leadership (FWS student ambassadors)
  • Encourage partnership model rather than clearinghouse model

Best Practices (Continued)

  • Gather and disseminate data
  • Recognize all participants
  • Place with Academic Affairs & partner with Student Affairs
  • Utilize Community Service FWS students to help staff program
  • Market and publicize achievements
  • Mobilize campus around service (e.g., “Taste of Service” events)
  • Offer mini-grants at beginning?

Electronic Resources

  • American Association of Community Colleges
  • http://www.aacc.nche.edu/
  • Community College National Center for Community Engagement
  • http://www.mc.maricopa.edu/other/engagement/
  • Campus Compact
  • http://www.compact.org/
  • National Service-Learning Clearinghouse
  • http://www.servicelearning.org/
  • National Service-Learning Exchange
  • http://www.nslexchange.org/

  • “ Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.” Unknown

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,

  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
  • committed citizens can change the world;
  • indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
  • --Margaret Mead

FOR MORE INFORMATION

  • Mesa Community College
  • Center for Service-learning
  • 1833 W. Southern Avenue
  • Mesa, Arizona 85202
  • Website: www.mc.maricopa.edu/servicelearning
  • Contact Duane D. Oakes at 480-461-7214
  • oakes@mail.mc.maricopa.edu


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