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Reciprocity of Service-learning Research and Practice at Tulane University Building Strong Communities Through Civic Engagement Barbara Moely and Vincent.

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Presentation on theme: "Reciprocity of Service-learning Research and Practice at Tulane University Building Strong Communities Through Civic Engagement Barbara Moely and Vincent."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Reciprocity of Service-learning Research and Practice at Tulane University Building Strong Communities Through Civic Engagement Barbara Moely and Vincent Ilustre International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement, Indianapolis, IN, October 2010

3 Todays Presentation Historical perspectives The development of Tulanes community engagement programs Intertwining of research with program development How practice facilitated research How research findings have been used in programming Current research University students participation in required service learning Civic attitude development during college

4 Early Program Development: Four faculty in Psychology, working with schools in a public housing community through a HUD grant to the University, began offering SL courses Other interested faculty soon joined on. Formalization of service-learning program shown by Faculty approval of a service-learning course credit Office of Service Learning formed Staff positions established, space provided Program growth illustrated in numbers of courses and students: Courses: Increased from 7 in to 67 in Students increased from 186 in to 870 in

5 : Number of Service-learning Courses Offered

6 : Numbers of Service-learning Students at Tulane

7 Program Enhancement through Funded Projects 1996 – 2001: Tulane-Xavier Campus Affiliates Program, funded by the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development, for programmatic activities with agencies serving families and children from New Orleans public housing : Foundation for Independent Higher Education and the Annenberg Foundation, small grant for college student tutoring of middle-school students : Tulane was a subgrantee on a FIPSE grant to Eastern Michigan University, for faculty development for SL /8: Tulane led an LSA Consortium Grant for program institutionalization, involved 7 other institutions, using Furcos Rubric as the basis for program development

8 Initial Research ( ): What are students gaining from their service-learning experiences? Development and use of the Civic Attitudes and Skills Questionnaire (CASQ) Moely, Mercer, Ilustre, et al. (2002) Moely, McFarland, et al. (2002) Tulane students engaged in service learning showed pre- post course increases in ratings of their own civic attitudes and skills, greater than those shown by students in comparison courses that did not involve service learning.

9 Changes in Civic Attitudes and Skills Following Participation in Service Learning Courses CASQ Scale Pretest M (SD) Posttest M (SD) SOCIAL JUSTICE ATTITUDE * Service-learning course (N = 217) 3.95 (.52)4.12 (.53) Non-service-learning course (N= 324) 3.92 (.52)3.94 (.56) LEADERSHIP SKILL* Service-learning course 3.87 (.68)3.96 (.65) No service-learning 3.90 (.66)3.78 (.68) CIVIC ACTION ** Service-learning course 3.97 (.65)4.17 (.62) Non-service-learning 3.97 (.68)3.84 (.77) * p <.05, ** p <.01, for differential pre-post change in group means

10 Students Ratings of Course Value for Service-learning and Comparison Courses COURSE VALUE Measure Pretest M (SD) Posttest M (SD) Service-learning course (N = 211) 4.10 (.62)4.14 (.60) Non-service-learning course (N= 322) 4.13 (.60)3.96 (.83) (differential pre-post change, at p <.05) COURSE VALUE SCALE: Eight items asked students to evaluate how important or useful they expected (pretest) or had experienced (posttest) the academic course to be for them.

11 Implications of the Research Programmatic feedback Assessment of program effectiveness: On the right track, though we can do better) Building justification for program on campus Student gains were promising, encouraged faculty involvement Enabling us to expand program through participation in funded projects The CASQ measure we developed could be used in other projects Beginning of a record of research activity

12 Research: Does service-learning contribute to University goals? Study of service-learning and students plans for continued study to university graduation (retention): Sarah Gallini: Surveyed 333 Tulane students in SL and other comparable courses Students in service-learning courses evaluated their courses more positively than did students in non- service-learning courses: Higher academic, community, and interpersonal engagement, more challenged by their courses SL course increased their plans to continue study.

13 Service-learning, Engagement, Plans for Continued Study (Retention) MeasureService- Learning Course (N = 142) Nonservice -learning Course (N = 171) ENGAGEMENT Community *** 3.85 (.60)3.06 (.65) Academic *** 3.86 (.56)3.53 (.71) Interpersonal *** 3.81 (.70)3.15 (.89) ACADEMIC CHALLENGE *** 3.68 (.52)3.33 (.63) HOURS STUDIED per week *** 3.73 (3.16)3.05 (2.68) RETENTION PLANS *** 3.55 (.58)3.24 (.47) *** p <.001, for differences between mean scores

14 Why Does Service Learning Increase Retention in College? Academic Engagement AcademicChallenge Plans for RETENTION SERVICE LEARNING Academic factors (engagement, challenging course work) mediated the relationship between SL and retention. -- Gallini & Moely (2003)

15 Implications of the Research Emphasized the academic component of service- learning as integral aspect of its impact on students Faculty could justify including service-learning as innovative teaching rather than service, in P&T and other evaluations Built administrative support for the program Increased awareness of the potential for service-learning to aid in pursuit of campus goals (increased retention through rigorous academic offerings)

16 Paradigms of Service (adapted from Morton, 1995) Charity Approach Emphasis on direct service to the individual, for a limited period of time. The helper plans activities and makes decisions about service activities. Social Change Approach Emphasis on producing societal change that will last. Aim is to empower those served so that they can accomplish self-determined goals.

17 Student Preferences and Service-learning Outcomes Moely and Miron (2005) study, based on Mortons paradigms of service Compared two ways of assessing paradigm preferences, developed reliable scales for Charity and Social Change, not for Project paradigm Tulane students expressed preferences for more individual, helping kinds of service (charity) than for experiences emphasizing social change Moely, Furco, and Reed (2008) Larger, more diverse sample Included one of the Moely & Miron measures as part of an asssessment of service-learning impacts Looked at how preferences and service placements are related to service-learning outcomes

18 Moely, Furco, and Reed: Service-Learning Courses Data gathered from 7 campuses participating in a LSA grant Involved 73 courses, representing a range of disciplines, most often in 33% in the Humanities 27% in the Social Sciences 17% in Psychology/Human Development Courses taught by faculty who had taken part in a faculty development seminar for service-learning

19 Community-Service Preferences Scale (Sample Items) The following statements describe different kinds of service-learning activities. Please rate each statement as to how much you would like to engage in this kind of service. Charity Items: A service placement where you can really become involved in helping individuals. Helping those in need. (Internal Consistency: alpha (4 items, N = 2,016) =.83) Social Change Items: Changing public policy for the benefit of people. Working to address a major social ill confronting our society. (Internal Consistency: alpha (4 items, N = 2,017) =.85)

20 Characterizing Service Sites as Involving Charity or Social Change (Sample Items) Using the scale below, indicate the extent to which your service-learning activity involved each of the following: Charity A service placement where you can really become involved in helping individuals Helping those in need. (Internal Consistency: alpha (4 items, N = 1,650 ) =.85) Social Change Changing public policy for the benefit of people. Working to address a major social ill confronting our society. (Internal Consistency: alpha (4 items, N = 1,646 ) =.84)

21 Identifying Match and Mismatch Groups Charity Pref. Social Change Pref. BothNeither Total Match Total Mismatch Charity Site Social Change Site Both Neither Totals

22 Importance of the Match For three Preference groups, a MATCH predicted: Increased Learning about the Community Increased Satisfaction with College Increased Interpersonal Effectiveness Positive pre-post change in CASQ Civic Action and Furcos HES-LS Civic Responsibility scales.

23 Matched/Not Matched Students Reports of Learning about the Community Group: Initial Service Preference: MatchNO Match Charity Social Change High Value Undifferent Low Value Undifferent

24 Implications of the Research Students preferences should be considered in planning service learning experiences, by offering choices of varied service opportunities Ideally, service should encompass aspects of BOTH service to individuals and contributions to social change. Community partners roles in the education of students building connections between individuals served and larger social issues the agency is addressing; offering students opportunities to contribute to social change activities at the agency.

25 A New Phase in Program and Research: Renewal after 2005 Hurricane Katrina Major changes at the University included an increased emphasis on campus-community engagement : Board approval of a new Public Service emphasis Student graduation requirement established Center for Public Service established

26 Undergraduate FocusAcademic Realignment Graduate ProgramsNew Partnerships Tulane Renewal Plan An enhanced collegiate experience that is campus- and student-centric Focus resources, achieve greater integration and synergy among related disciplines A focus on building healthy, sustainable communities locally, regionally, and throughout the world More focused, world-class graduate programs and enhanced professional experiences

27 Center for Public Service Service LearningInternship Honors Thesis Research Project Capstone Service Learning Part 1:Part 2: International Public Service Graduation Requirement

28 Center for Public Service Service LearningInternship Honors Thesis Research Project Capstone Service Learning Part 1:Part 2: International Public Service Graduation Requirement Completed by the end of the sophomore year Course level: 100 – 300

29 Center for Public Service Service LearningInternship Honors Thesis Research Project Capstone Service Learning Part 1:Part 2: International Public Service Graduation Requirement Completed after sophomore year before graduation Course level: 300 – 600

30 Center for Public Service: Building University Capacity for Student Engagement Academic Year: Number of CPS Program Staff Members Number of Community Partners Number of Service Learning Courses Number of Students in PS Internships

31 New Research Questions 1) Did students entering Tulane after Katrina have different reasons for attending this University and different expectations for their study than those entering prior to the storm? 2) How did the incoming students view the public service graduation requirement? 3) Were incoming students personal characteristics, past experiences with service, and their civic attitudes, knowledge, and skills related to their views of the public service requirement? 4) How do these students evaluate the requirement after they have spent two/four years at the University ? (Work partially completed.) 5) How do students civic attitudes change over their years in college? How are these changes related to aspects of their public service experiences? (Work still underway.)

32 Research Design Year of Tulane Entry: Time of Test (Year) * X X * Numbers indicate number of students completing surveys; color codes indicate Year in College (e.g. first, second, fourth) X represents a future test date Arrows indicate repeated tests of same participants Gold box indicates students considered in the present report.

33 Research Question 1a: Were post-Katrina students Were post-Katrina students reasons for attending Tulane different from those of pre-Katrina students?

34 Reasons for College Choice Differentiating Incoming and Continuing Students Reasons Differentiating Student Groups: Why did you choose to attend Tulane University? ALL First-Year Students N = 648 M (SD) Advanced Students 2006 N = 257 M (SD) Tulane will make it possible for me to help rebuild New Orleans ** 2.82 (.95)2.07 (1.07) Opportunities for me to engage in service in New Orleans communities ** 2.81 (.96)2.16 (.91) The major area of study I want is available at Tulane. * 3.25 (.91)2.97 ( 1.01) * Groups differ at p <.01 ** Groups differ at p <.001

35 Research Question 1b: Were post-Katrina students expectations for their college experience different from those of pre-Katrina students?

36 Anticipated Gains from College that Differentiate Incoming and Continuing Students Reasons Differentiating Student Groups: What do you hope to gain from your college experience? ALL First- year Students M (SD) Advanced Students M (SD) Helping with the revitalization of the New Orleans community ** 2.98 (.89) 2.25 (.98) Making a difference ** 3.35 (.82)2.87 (.98) Becoming active in politics ** 2.21(1.01) 1.73 (.94) Gaining leadership experiences and developing leadership skills ** 3.22 (.86)2.79 (.96) Exploring career possibilities and preparation for a chosen career ** 3.74 (.55) 3.52 (.75) Conducting research ** 2.47 (.96) 2.04 (.99) ** Groups differ at p <.001

37 Research Question 2: How did incoming students view the public service graduation requirement?

38 Incoming Students Views of the Public Service Requirement Items Assessing Students Evaluation and Plans Evaluation: Do you think that learning about academic subject matter through public-service experiences is … N = 290N = 185N = 195 A good idea 56%54%62% OK 31% 30% I dont have any opinion about this 9%5%4% A bad idea 4%10%4% Plans: How much public service do you plan to do while here at Tulane? I plan to become very active in the community 25% 32% More than the amount required if it seems beneficial to me 56% 59%56% Just the amount that is required, no more19%15%12%

39 Research Question 3: Were incoming students personal characteristics, prior experiences with service, and their civic attitudes, knowledge, and skills related to their views of the public service requirement?

40 Predicting Entering College Students Evaluations of and Plans Regarding the Public Service Requirement Predictors Correlated with Students (bivariate correlations) Evaluat.Plans Personal Characteristics Gender (1 = male, 2 = female).21**.18** Area of Origin (1= Louisiana, 2 = All Other).12**.17** High School Experiences Enjoyment of Prior Community Service.30**.35** Impact of Prior Community Service.23**.20 Service was a volunteer activity (1 = no, 2 = yes).18*.32* Service was for a service-learning course (1 =no, 2 =yes).07*.11* * p <.01 *** p <.001

41 Predicting Entering College Students Evaluations of and Plans regarding the Public Service Requirement Predictors Correlated with Students (partial correlations, controlling for Social Desirability responding) Evaluation s Plans Civic Attitudes HES-LS Civic Responsibility.51**.59** Valuing Community Engagement.46**.59** CASQ Social Justice.25.36* Civic Knowledge Seeks Information about Political/Social Issues.29**.37** Civic Actions Interpersonal Skills.27**.28** Leadership Skills.18.25* Cultural Skills.12.25*

42 Research Question 4: How do students evaluate the graduation requirement after they have spent two/four years at the University? (Data collection not yet completed.)

43 Continuing/Graduating Students Views of the Requirement Assessing Students Evaluations and Plans First Year to Soph./Jr. Year (All Three Groups) Seniors (2006 Group) Evaluation: Do you think that learning about academic subject matter through public-service experiences is … N = 252 (37% of total) N = 55 Time1Time2Time 3 A good idea 60%65%66% OK 31%29% I dont have any opinion about this 3%1%0 A bad idea6%5% Plans: How much public service do you plan to do /are you doing/ while here at Tulane? I plan to/have/ become very active in the community 34%14%14.5% More than the amount required/ if it seems beneficial to me 59%61%71% Just the amount that is required, no more 7%25%14.5%

44 Understanding Students Views of the Requirement In contrast to these findings of a consistent and lasting positive view of the requirement, studies of K-12 service learning have shown that students show negative reactions to a required service-learning experience. What might explain the difference? Stukas, Snyder, & Clary (1999) found that negative reactions to required service are less likely among college students who 1 ) have a strong history of service activities, and 2) do not perceive the requirement as a strong form of control. Our study: 1) Past experience did predict positive reactions; 2) Control was less apparent because students came to the university with interest in service, and they had choices of ways in which to complete the requirement.

45 Research Question 5: How do students civic attitudes change over two/four years of college? (Data collection and analysis not yet completed.)

46 Changes from Time 1 to Time 2 for Groups Entering in 2006 and 2007 (N = 102) Measure Time 1Time 2 MSDM HES-LS Civic Responsibility ** Community Engagement ** Seeks Information about Political/Social Issues ** Knowledge of New Orleans Culture and Issues ** Knowledge of Current Events ** HES-LS Academic Attitude ** * * Pre-post difference significant at p <.001

47 Summary of Current Research Incoming students positive views of requirement are influenced by Gender, Area of Origin Positive prior community service experience Civic attitudes and Interpersonal Skills Students views of the public service requirement continue to be positive after two years of academic study. They see public service as a good or OK idea They report doing more than the amount required Students show increases in positive civic attitudes after two years.

48 Implications of Current Research Concerns about students possible negative reactions to the requirement are not confirmed by the findings. Student choice in completing the requirement may contribute to the positive outcomes, so that offering an array of service-learning courses and other kinds of public service experiences is important. Question for the field: Can these findings be generalized to other institutions and contexts, or is this something specific to a particular campus and city at a unique time?

49 Overall Summary: Looking Back The research has been useful for program development. Formative value: Program has been responsive to implications for practice gained through research Evaluation: Building the programs reputation Can show that a program contributes to campus goals, offers faculty opportunities for new instructional and research initiatives Research record is helpful in making the case to outside agencies for support Program development supports the research effort. Interesting research questions often derive from practice A strong program offers opportunities to conduct worthwhile research.

50 Looking Forward Research: Aim to complete this work, with two more groups of seniors to be surveyed Ongoing research on campus-community partnership development and partner strategies for working effectively with large groups of students Program: Encourage more faculty to engage in research on questions related to CPS Many other programmatic activities underway!

51 References for Tulane work Moely, B. E., Mercer, S. H., Ilustre, V., Miron, D., and McFarland, M. (2002). Psychometric properties and correlates of the Civic Attitudes and Skills Questionnaire (CASQ): A measure of students attitudes related to service learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 8, Moely, B. E., McFarland, M., Miron, D., Mercer, S. H., & Ilustre, V. (2002). Changes in college students attitudes and intentions for civic involvement as a function of service-learning experiences. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 9, Gallini, S., & Moely, B. E. (2003). Service learning and engagement, academic challenge, and retention. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 10, Moely, B. E., & Miron, D. (2005). College students preferred approaches to community service: Charity and social change paradigms. In S. Root, J. Callahan, and S. H. Billig (Eds.) Improving service-learning practice: Research on models to enhance impacts. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Moely, B. E., Furco, A., & Reed, J. (2008). Charity and social change: The impact of individual preferences on service-learning outcomes. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 15(1), Miron, D., & Moely, B. E. (2006). Community agency voice and benefit in service-learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 12(2), Moely, B. E., & Ilustre, V. University students views of a public service graduation requirement. Submitted for publication.

52 For More Information Barbara Moely Vincent Ilustre Research Website


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