strategies and challenges to institutionalising service learning at a south african university
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Strategies and challenges to institutionalising service-learning at a South African university. Magda Fourie University of the Free State. Overview. Institutional review /audit of community engagement activities Institutional policies and planning Resource allocation

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strategies and challenges to institutionalising service learning at a south african university

Strategies and challenges to institutionalising service-learning at a South African university

Magda Fourie

University of the Free State

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

overview
Overview
  • Institutional review /audit of community engagement activities
  • Institutional policies and planning
  • Resource allocation
  • Institutional structures
  • Institutional support and development
  • Institutional practices
  • Partnerships and networks

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

three core functions of the university
Three core functions of the university:
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Community engagement

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

boyer
Boyer

A false contra-positioning or tension between the concepts of academic work (teaching and research) and community service – scholarship of engagement

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

being responsive and responsible
Being responsive and responsible

In a developing society many institutions need to broaden their scope and sharpen their focus in order to contribute to the development of a society. This demands a particular orientation and focus and commitment of our core business; a commitment to make a contribution towards a solution for the most pressing problems of that society. But always on the basis of the scientific knowledge and scholarship of a university.

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

mainstreaming community engagement
Mainstreaming community engagement

The most important service that a university can render to society and communities, is to be a really good university, a place of scholarship, of the pursuit of science, of generating and transferring knowledge. Community service can, and should be, an integral part of these functions of a university.

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

mission of community engagement
Mission of community engagement

To foster an integrated, holistic, interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach to the generation, transfer and application of knowledge (teaching + research + service)

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

strategy 1
Strategy 1
  • Review or audit of all current community engagement activities (volunteer programmes, service-learning programmes, service projects, internships, etc.)
  • Assessment of strengths and weaknesses
  • Make difficult choices

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

two categories of community engagement
Two categories of community engagement
  • CS projects and programmes that are integrated in curricula of academic programmes, and linked to research: practicals, internships, learnerships, workplace learning, elective and foundational modules, problem-solving and developmental research
  • Extra-curricular community involvement: volunteerism, consultation, short courses, contract research, development projects

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

integrated service learning programmes imply
Integrated service-learning programmes imply:
  • the joint and mutual acquisition of abilities (knowledge, skills and attitudes/dispositions)
  • by all members of the community engagement partnership (students, lecturers, community, service sector)
  • in teaching, learning and research programmes
  • aimed at a better understanding, handling and resolution of community needs and challenges
  • through available expertise, resources and infrastructure

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

service learning
Service-learning

Course-based, credit-bearing educational experiences in which students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organised service experiences that meet actual community needs, that are integrated into the students’ academic curriculum and provide structured time for reflection in order to gain further understanding of course content, academic disciplines and civic responsibility.

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

strategy 2 institutional policies and planning
Strategy 2: Institutional policies and planning
  • Does the institution have a clear commitment to CE and/or SL in its vision/mission statement?
  • Does top management visibly and actively encourage and support CE/SL?
  • Does service-learning form part of academic planning at the institution?
  • Does the institution have a clear and well-communicated policy for CE/SL?

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

strategy 3 resource allocation
Strategy 3:Resource allocation
  • Does the institution commit itself to allocating earmarked funds and other resources for service-learning initiatives?
  • Does the institution have explicit criteria and procedures to approve and allocate funds to service-learning initiatives?

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

strategy 4 institutional structures
Strategy 4: Institutional structures
  • Are there institution-wide structures that take responsibility for the policy development and planning for CE and SL?
  • Does the institution have a dedicated CE/SL office?
  • Are there institutional structures that manage the implementation of SL?

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

strategy 5 institutional support and development
Strategy 5: Institutional support and development
  • What support and development are available for the design, development and implementation of SL?
  • What training opportunities are available for staff in the field of SL? (Formal and non-formal)

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

strategy 6 institutional practices
Strategy 6: Institutional practices
  • Are SL activities part of academic programme review?
  • Do SL feature in performance management systems?
  • Are CE/SL activities regularly communicated across the institution?

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

strategy 7 partnerships and networks
Strategy 7: Partnerships and networks
  • Are clear policy guidelines for partnerships in CE/SL in place?
  • Are facilitating and support mechanisms for establishing partnerships and networks in place?
  • Are both internal and external networks encouraged and supported?

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

slide18

The Partnership Model

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

community service flagships
Community service flagships
  • Urban: Mangaung University Community Partnership Programme (MUCPP)
  • Etsa Phapang Training Centre
  • Boyden Observatory
  • Rural: Free State Rural Development Partnership Programme (FSRDPP)
  • Qwaqwa

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

slide20

Etsa Phapang Training Centre

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

challenges
Challenges
  • Paradigm shift
  • Advocacy
  • Communication
  • Programme quality
  • Research activities

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

thank you
Thank you!

SU/IU Service-Learning Symposium Nov 2005

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