Service Learning In The Rural Community College Nicholas Holton Kirtland Community College www2.kirtland.edu/servicelearning/
Definition of Service Learning Community Service Learning may be conceptualized as a pedagogical model that connects meaningful community service experiences with academic course learning.
Goals for the session Time For Sharing Ideas We Know The Problems, What Are The Solutions. Concentrate On Turning Challenges Into Opportunities
What Students Want: Clear Expectations Structure Involvement Variety Relevance Acceptance and Respect Flexibility Humor Credibility Concern for their Goals
Benefits of Service Learning Enriches student learning of course material and “brings books to life and life to books.” Engages students in active learning that demonstrates the relevance of academic work for their life and career choices. Increases awareness of current societal issues as they relate to academic areas.
Broadens perspectives of diversity issues and enhances critical thinking skills. Improves interpersonal skills. Develops civic responsibility through active community involvement.
Community: Provides substantial human resources to meet educational, human, safety, and environmental needs of local communities. Allows the energy and enthusiasm of students to contribute to meeting needs. Fosters an ethic of service and civic participation in students. Creates potential for additional partnerships and collaboration.
The Best Service Learning Programs 1. Are bound directly to the academic curriculum. 2. Meet a real community need. 3. Provide for structured group reflection time. 4. Engage students in group decision making and problem solving. 5. Find ways to match the skills and talents of students with the needs of the community. 6. Provide a wide variety of options for students. 7. Provide recognition for services rendered.
Service Learning: Essential Elements 1. Reciprocity: The service learning must be worthwhile and valuable for both the student and the community. 2. Reflection: Intentional, systematic reflection about the experience must take place in order to accomplish rational harmony in community service experiences. Reflection within the context of the volunteer experience encourages introspection of other aspects of the student’s life.
3. Development: Service learning occurs in different stages; beginning with service, from enabling to empowering; from observation, to experience; from following to leadership. 4. Meaningful Service: Service tasks need to be worthwhile and challenging in order to strengthen students’ critical thinking. 5. Diversity: A priority is placed on involving a broad cross-section of students working in diverse settings and with a diverse population within the community. Meaningful service is not about doing good to someone; it is about dignity and growth of the giver and the receiver. Harry C. Silcox
Ways to Integrate A Service Component Independent 4 th credit option Required within a course Option within a course Class Service Projects Disciplinary Capstone Projects Service Research Projects
Important Steps in Developing A Service Learning Strategy 1. Consider the courses you teach and determine how community service might be helpful to enrich learning in that discipline. 2.With service sites or activities in mind, consider your goals and motives in using the application.
3. Based upon your motives, goals, and objectives, choose a course service option. 4. Once you have chosen how service will be incorporated, review and alter your course objectives and syllabus to reflect the change.
5.On the first day of class, explain and promote the ideas behind including Service Learning in your class. Explain the benefits to the student and the community. 6.Work with students to develop specific service and learning objectives for their service experiences.
7.Teach students how to harvest the service experience for knowledge. 8.Link the service experience to your academic course content through deliberate and guided reflection. 9.Evaluate your Service Learning outcomes as you would any other product.
Advice on Designing a Service Learning Course 1. Are course goals and objectives realistic? 2. Has advance planning taken place with the community agency to effectively integrate service-based learning with course goals and objectives? 3. What provisions have been made for evaluation and assessment?
Principles of Good Practice in Community Service Learning and Pedagogy Academic credit is for learning, not for service Do not compromise academic rigor Set Learning goals for students Establish criteria for the selection of community service placements
Provide educationally-sound mechanisms to harvest the community learning Provide supports for students to learn how to harvest the community learning Minimize the distinction between the students’ community learning role and the classroom learning role Re-think the faculty instructional role Be prepared for uncertainty and variation in student learning outcomes Maximize the community responsibility orientation of the course
Common Faculty Concerns : 1. Academic Rigor 2. Competence in Application of the Strategy. 3. Students’ ability to contribute meaningful service. 4. Time Constraints 5. Liability
New Initiatives In Rural Service Learning Michigan Alliance for Rural Service Learning (MARSL) http://www2.kirtland.edu/servicelearning/m arsl.htm Regional Initiatives Multi-state Collaborations Community College National Center for Community Engagement
For more information on student learning point your browser to: www.uwex.edu/erc/gwah/ www.teachersnetwork.org/dcs/environsl/envi6.htm www.teachersnetwork.org.dcs/environsl/envi4.htm www.teachersnetwork.org/dcs/environsl/envi5.htm www.teachersnetwork.org/teachnet/Boston/tisseason/man y111111.htm www.cde.ca.gov/calserve/LessonPlans/default.asp www.csf.colorado.edu/sl/syllabi/index.html www.usafreedomcorps.gov/