service learning through a student run consulting program
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Service Learning through a Student-Run Consulting Program. Nilupa S. Gunaratna, Purdue University Craig A. Johnson, BYU-Idaho John R. Stevens, Utah State University. Overview. Introduction Organizational structure Examples of clients and projects Benefits Challenges Factors of success.

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service learning through a student run consulting program

Service Learning through aStudent-Run Consulting Program

Nilupa S. Gunaratna, Purdue University

Craig A. Johnson, BYU-Idaho

John R. Stevens, Utah State University

overview
Overview
  • Introduction
  • Organizational structure
  • Examples of clients and projects
  • Benefits
  • Challenges
  • Factors of success
introduction
Introduction
  • STATCOM (Statistics in the Community)
    • Student-run consulting service at Purdue University
    • Professional statistical consulting
    • Local government and nonprofits
    • No charge to clients
    • Voluntary student participation
    • A model for integrating service learning into graduate student education at other universities
historical summary

Consultants Projects

Historical Summary

40

| | | | |

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

30

20

10

0

organizational structure1
Organizational Structure

Team Member Roles

  • Team leader
  • An additional experienced member
  • 2-3 other people
organizational structure2
Organizational Structure
  • Structure designed to
    • Spread out responsibilities
    • Involve more students in leadership
    • Develop consultants’ skills
    • Encourage peer mentoring
    • Accommodate many simultaneous projects
  • Minimize dependence on faculty
    • Build expertise within the body of students
examples of projects
Examples of Projects
  • Sagamore Parkway Task Force
  • West Lafayette City Strategic Plan
  • Lafayette School Corporation
  • West Lafayette Public Library
  • P-12 Outreach
other examples confidentiality assured
Youth group home

Youth organizations

Performing artists

Retirement center

Family support center

Campus groups at Purdue University

Survey design & analysis

Improving survey response rates

Personnel retention

Analysis of donor characteristics

Graphical data summaries

Other Examples (Confidentiality assured)
benefits for students
Benefits – for Students
  • Skills
    • Leadership / Management / Teamwork
    • Written / oral communication (general public)
      • Translating client’s problem into a statistical problem
      • Solving the statistical problem
      • Translating results into a format useful to the client
  • Academic / Professional presentations
    • Biweekly meetings
    • Conferences / symposia
    • Public fora
benefits for students1
Benefits – for Students
  • Supplement to graduate education
    • Practical applications of coursework
    • Early involvement in graduate education
    • Maintain balance and perspective during graduate education
  • Good résumé builder
  • Intangibles
other benefits
Other Benefits
  • Department / College / University
    • Increased interaction and visibility
    • Engagement / Service
    • Good public relations & networking tool
  • Community
    • Obvious benefit: free consulting
    • More statistically sound methods
    • Enhanced partnership with the university
challenges
Challenges
  • Developing organizational structure
  • Convincing faculty the benefits are worth the time
  • Finding first few projects
  • Projects that “fizzle”
  • Continuity from semester-to-semester
  • Documentation
factors of success
Factors of Success
  • Support from Department and Head
  • Support from individual faculty/advisors
  • Advising support
  • Student autonomy
  • Financial support
    • Brochures and business cards
    • Photocopies, meeting refreshments, etc.
factors of success1
Factors of Success
  • Computer support
    • Laptops – Shared directory
    • Website – Email aliases
  • Faculty recognition
  • Enthusiasm fromgraduate students (natural)
    • Over 1/3 of students involved
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Many benefits
    • Enriches graduate student experience
    • Highlights department and university
    • Service to community
  • STATCOM can be used as a model for other community consulting services
acknowledgments
Regina Becker, Purdue University

Teena Seele, Purdue University

Nels Grevstad, Metropolitan State College of Denver

Mary Ellen Bock,Purdue University

George McCabe,Purdue University

Doug & Cheryl Crabill,Purdue University

Many student officers and consultants at Purdue University

Acknowledgments

[email protected] http://www.stat.purdue.edu/statcom/

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