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Service-Learning: Why Bother? Jeffrey Howard - Director of Faculty Development Marisol Morales - Associate Director Chad Williams - Assistant Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Service-Learning: Why Bother? Jeffrey Howard - Director of Faculty Development Marisol Morales - Associate Director Chad Williams - Assistant Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Service-Learning: Why Bother? Jeffrey Howard - Director of Faculty Development Marisol Morales - Associate Director Chad Williams - Assistant Director for Community Development Steans Center for Community-based Service-Learning DePaul University April 16, 2010

2 Workshop Goals 1. Introduce the Steans Center and its purposes 2. Clarify the conceptualization for service- learning (aka, community-based learning) 3. Discuss service-learning’s benefits and challenges for the three primary constituencies: students, community organizations, and faculty 4. Identify the Steans Center’s challenge/impediment reduction strategies 5. Identify faculty interest for follow-up 1:1 meeting

3 About the Steans Center Support for service-learning courses at all DePaul schools and colleges Community service studies minor Programs such as JumpStart Student community service fellowships Egan Urban Center

4 Case Study #1 Two weeks into a new quarter you bump into one of your campus’ new faculty members. She excitedly tells you that she is using service-learning in her Intro to Psychology courses by (1) asking students to do 20 hours of community service, and (2) asking them to write a one-page summary of their experiences at the end of the semester. She tells you students can earn up to 10 points toward their final grade by satisfying these two assignments.

5 Conceptualizing Academic Service-Learning (p. 12)

6 Distinguishing Academic Service-Learning from Other Student Community Involvement (p. 13) Relevant and Meaningful Service with the Community Enhanced Academic Learning Purposeful Civic Learning Volunteering or Community ServiceYesNo Co-Curricular Service-Learning YesNoYes InternshipsYes No (instead, socialization into the profession) Academic Service- LearningYes

7 Service-Learning is Different… For students relative to traditional courses For faculty relative to traditional courses For community organizations relative to traditional volunteers

8 Challenges for Students Unfamiliar way of learning (integrating classroom and community learning) Unfamiliar communities (many grew up in middle class, homogeneous communities) Unfamiliar with how to enter another’s community respectfully and sensitively

9 Benefits for Students New way of learning – integrating theory and practice, academic and experiential learning Potential for a transformative learning experience Development of civic/social justice knowledge, competencies, skills, values Growth of self (more likely in the real world than in a classroom) Learn about a community, population, etc. Opportunity to challenge stereotypes about those in unfamiliar communities

10 Challenges for Community Organizations Often unfamiliar with volunteers who have a learning agenda in addition to a service agenda Determining how best to utilize college students on behalf of the community organization’s goals/needs College students can present a lack of professionalism Quarter system limits volunteer time (e.g., 20 hours/quarter) Training and supervision takes time away from other staff responsibilities

11 Benefits for Community Organizations Peoplepower (for usually understaffed community organizations) Can undertake projects previously unable to get to Opportunity to “educate” college students Undertake research to support, for example, grant-seeking Develop a mutually beneficial relationship with a University Build student investment in the organization Expand potential volunteer/donor base Potential future staff hires

12 Challenges for Faculty Unfamiliar pedagogy Determining and realizing both academic and civic learning outcomes for students Integrating academic and real-world learning Identifying appropriate community partners for one’s academic course Developing relationships with community partners Facilitating reflection about students’ real-world experiences/learning Determining how to address difficult issues such as stereotyping, isms, etc.

13 Benefits for Faculty Students more engaged in their learning Academic learning enriched Student learning beyond academic learning Contribute to the development of the next generation of active community members Add to one’s pedagogical repertoire Offers a platform for research and publication Enhances positive university relationships with communities Provides opportunities for faculty to use skills and knowledge for the benefit of communities Contributes to the Vincentian mission of DePaul University Address students’ stereotypes, isms, etc.

14 Challenges and Benefits For each of the three constituencies there are important benefits and challenges. Research indicates that the additional effort necessary to teach a service-learning course relative to a traditional method often discourages faculty use of service-learning (Research also indicates that teaching a service- learning course enhances student academic learning) But what if many of the challenges previously identified could be addressed?

15 Steans Center Challenge/Impediments Reduction Strategies To minimize challenges and maximize benefits, the Steans Center offers: Faculty development (e.g., course development workshops, course implementation workshops, individual faculty consultations, syllabus review, etc.) Grant funding (www.steans.depaul.edu) Custom-tailored community partner identification and development for each course Reflection sessions led by trained undergraduate facilitators Orientation for students to community-based learning and respectful community entry and exit All communication with community organizations, including tracking students’ community service fulfillment (quality and quantity)

16 Asset-Based Community Development

17 Service-Learning: Should You Bother? Do the benefits outweigh the challenges? Does the Steans Center offer sufficient services to address the challenges? Would you consider meeting 1:1 with a Steans Center staff member to discuss the possibility of integrating service-learning into one of your academic courses?

18 National Service-Learning Resources (pp ) National Service-Learning Clearinghouse Published and unpublished material related to service-learning Campus Compact Many syllabi, conference announcements, publications Service-Learning in the Disciplines 24 discipline-specific monographs International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement – annual conference (October 2010 in Indianapolis) Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning

19 Discussion Q & A

20 Next Step Sign-Up for Meeting with Steans Center Staff to Explore the Possibility of Integrating Service- Learning into One of Your Courses


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