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Service Learning Implementation as a Graduation Requirement Service Learning Advisory Board Proposal Presented By: Tom Rust Kathy Kotecki Service Learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Service Learning Implementation as a Graduation Requirement Service Learning Advisory Board Proposal Presented By: Tom Rust Kathy Kotecki Service Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Service Learning Implementation as a Graduation Requirement Service Learning Advisory Board Proposal Presented By: Tom Rust Kathy Kotecki Service Learning Co-Coordinators

2 Service Learning….How does it connect? Service Learning enhances MSU Billings Core Purpose, Mission, and Core Values By: Engaging in civic responsibility Providing exceptional and excellent teaching Promoting intellectual, cultural, social and economic community enhancement Translating practice into knowledge Accepting leadership for intellectual, cultural, social and economic development beyond University Boundaries

3 Service Learning at MSU Billings Service learning is an educational experience and a teaching method that focuses on learning through community projects. Projects enable students to apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to benefit the community while students gain a deeper understanding of course content and the importance of civic engagement. Criteria:  Project must be strongly connected to course objectives.  Project is required of all students and is clearly outlined in the syllabus.  Project benefits the community.  Project is academically rigorous.  Formal Reflection is deliberate.  Formal assessment – grade is based on learning, not service.  A goal is to promote civic engagement.

4 A Service Learning Requirement at MSU Billings: Universal Opportunities and Challenges Opportunities – Students – University image – Giving back to the taxpayers of Montana Challenges – Faculty buy-in – Student credit issues – Investment Administrative Projects Staffing

5 Background/Research Survey of Required Service Learning Paradigms  General Education Requirement – Specific Classes already in Gen Ed  General Education Requirement – Separate Category with multiple options (credit and co-curricular options)  General Education Requirement – Separate Category Specific Classes for Service Learning  Graduation Requirement with specific class options (de facto gen ed)  Graduation Requirement – Credit/Non-Credit Options  Major Requirement  General Education + Major Requirement

6 Service Learning Credit Options Created by the Service Learning Advisory Board (the beginning of a campus wide dialog) Continue building and implementing Service Learning within courses through all colleges and departments as we currently do!

7 Option 1 Faculty who are currently teaching with a Service Learning Component increase the class credit by 1 (a 3 credit class becomes a 4 credit class) Benefits Faculty will have more teaching time in their course Faculty may be more inclined to do this Challenges All Service Learning might not warrant an extra credit – would add more time All Service Learning isn’t equal – who decides Budget implications (staff resources) Extra tuition expenses for students (if not in flat spot)

8 Option 2 Use the existing 1 credit ASC 297 Service Learning Course and require all freshmen to take it as part of Academic Foundations. Benefits All freshmen would be exposed to Service Learning right from the beginning of their college experience Retention tool This experience could be a starting point in building many service learning experiences for them during the duration of their experience at MSUB Could produce a large increase in enrollment – help FTE Challenges Credit loads for students – for example, COE students have no room within their courses for an extra credit Human/Financial Resources Transfer students would not necessarily transfer in with a Service Learning Course to cover this requirement Quality of student skills and motivation for the project Community partner fatigue

9 Option 2A Add an additional credit to the ASC 101 course (College Success Strategies) so the course becomes 2 credits with a Service Learning Component – required for all freshmen Benefits Same as Option 2 Challenges Same as Option 2

10 Option 3 Identify “Capstone” Courses in (most) majors and add an additional 1 cr. Service Learning component (this includes the COT) including a specifically non-major option Benefits More advanced/higher skill set – can contribute more to community Students may benefit more – Community Partners get more benefit Most majors can do this 4 cr. rewards faculty effort/attract more FTE Challenges How to combine with existing Co-op Ed internships Could be a choice Funding Faculty loads Staffing for Admin Re-defining SL

11 Option 4 Create a Capstone required course that is not specific to a major that has a SL component (for example – a business student could do their SL capstone project in a course related to Public Relations if they have interest in that area); look at ways to incorporate SL into an internship (for example – an accounting student could do a 3 credit internship at KPMG and then do an extra 1 credit Service Learning experience using their accounting skills for a non-profit). Benefits Same as Option 3 plus…. More flexible for students Increase FTE in SL courses Creates more well-rounded, employable students Increase student interest and motivation Challenges Drawback existing internship model – internships do not equal Service Learning Re-defining SL Miss out on cooperative engagement with other students Expected skill set in another major is missing

12 Option 5 Provide the Service Learning requirement to be fulfilled throughout the students experience (not just tied to freshmen or senior year) – build on what we are currently doing and make it part of the culture of MSUB. Benefits: ‘nuff said Challenges: We aren’t there yet.

13 The Beginning of the DISCUSSSION: Ideas for models and ways to implement Service Learning Next Steps: Idea - Service Learning Strategic Planning Session in May Deans Dept Chairs Current/Interested SL faculty Service Learning Advisory Board Community Partners


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