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Academic Service Learning: Extending CSD Student Development Beyond the Classroom . Mona R. Griffer, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, BRCLS Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders E-mail: [email protected] Ann M. Jablonski, Ph.D. Department of Education E-mail: [email protected]

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Academic Service Learning: Extending CSD Student Development Beyond the Classroom

Mona R. Griffer, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, BRCLS

Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders

E-mail: [email protected]

Ann M. Jablonski, Ph.D.Department of Education

E-mail: [email protected]

Marywood University

Scranton, PA


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Overview

  • Definition of academic service-learning (ASL)

  • Components of an ASL program

  • Faculty challenges & suggested solutions

  • Benefits of ASL

  • Examples of ASL experiences for CSD students


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Marywood University’s Definition of ASL

Faculty, professional staff, administrators, and student members of

Marywood University’s ASL Committee (2005) offer the following

definition:

Academic service learning is a structured educational experience integrated into the curriculum that includes the following objectives:

  • Meets an identified domestic or international community need;

  • Provides a reciprocal method by which students and community benefit;

  • Fosters personal development, civic duty, and social responsibility;

  • Applies newly acquired knowledge to real life service experiences;

  • Provides structured time for students to critically reflect on the educational experience(s); and

  • Reflects the Marywood University Mission Statement and embodies the curricular purpose of “Living Responsibly in an Interdependent World.”


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Components of ASL Programs

Fundamental components of well-designed ASL

programs/experiences incorporate the following:

  • academic rigor, reflection, and evaluation;

  • active faculty roles and responsibilities;

  • the selection of appropriate community partners; and

  • the assurance that these partners have a voice that is respected and valued (Mintz & Hesser, 1996).


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Challenges for Faculty

  • Linking the service component directly to course curriculum

  • Finding appropriate community partners

  • Determining reciprocal benefits

  • Balancing traditional pedagogies with experiential learning that includes opportunities for reflection

  • Appropriate assessment and evaluation of student learning including:

    knowledge of content

    service contribution

    depth of reflection

  • Time commitment


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Suggested Solutions

Challenge: Linking the service component directly to course curriculum

Solution: The Service-Learning Quadrant

Source: Erickson, J. A. & Anderson, J. B. (eds.) (1997). Learning with the community: Concepts and models for service-learning in teacher education. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education


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Suggested Solutions

Challenges: Finding appropriate community partners &

Determining reciprocal benefits

Solutions:

  • Advocate for a Coordinator of ASL on your campus

    • Reduced course load for faculty member

    • Professional staff position

  • Establish a ASL committee comprised of representative constituents (e.g., faculty from various disciplines, an academic dean, dean of students, UG & GRAD students, professional staff from collegiate volunteers office)

  • Know your community (i.e., history, culture, demographics, potential agencies/organizations)

  • Network with other professionals and community leaders

  • Talk with colleagues who have a successful track record with ASL programs


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Suggested Solutions

Challenge: Balancing traditional pedagogies with experiential learning that includes opportunities for reflection

Solutions:

  • Participate in an extra-curricular service-learning experience with students

  • Identify a specific student-learning outcome (SLO) for which ASL pedagogy would be appropriate

  • Determine how much time to dedicate to the ASL experience

  • Consider whether the ASL experience should be part of the course, an extension of the course, or a combination of both

  • Build in time for reflection

  • Design or select meaningful reflections


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Designing or Selecting Meaningful Reflections

  • The purpose of the reflective component is to examine the underlying social, cultural, economic, political, and historical causes of the needs in the community (Kendall as cited in Jacoby, 1996).

  • This reflection can be oral (small groups) or written (e.g., reflective journals or papers) (Porter Honnet & Poulsen as cited in Jacoby, 1996).


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Suggested Solutions

Challenge: Appropriate assessment and evaluation of student learning

Solutions:

  • Knowledge of content

    • Specify objectives for and have students keep a portfolio

    • Have students design and present projects that demonstrate mastery of SLO

  • Service contribution and depth of reflection

    • Journals

    • Reflective papers

    • Have students share reflections using electronic chat-rooms or bulletin boards

    • Design grading rubrics


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Suggested Solutions

Challenge: Time commitment

Solution:

  • Set a professional development goal to infuse ASL experiences into courses you teach

  • Remember that any goal is just a dream or wish unless you set a target date

  • To set target dates

    • Make a calendar of the ideal work day or week

    • Schedule appointments with yourself, blocking off time to dedicate to this goal


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Benefits of ASL Programs for Students

  • Students acquire the knowledge and skills to confront and resolve social problems and attend to human needs in the increasingly global communities in which they live and work (Griffer, 2006).

  • Students acquire a capacity to work with diverse populations while developing the potential for life-long service.

  • Students participate in active learning and engage in critical reflection that enhances their problem-solving abilities.


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Benefits of ASL Programs for Faculty

  • Professionals recognize ASL as both

    • a philosophy of education that aims to prepare students to become responsible and active citizens in their communities and as

    • an instructional method that integrates “real world” activities within an academic program (Jablonski, 2005).

  • Faculty members have the opportunity to expand professional networks within the academic community as well as the community-at-large.


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Benefits of ASL Programs to the Community

  • Community partners benefit from receiving services that might not otherwise be possible. They also expand their affiliations with the university and/or faculty within their respective professions (Zlotkowski, 2005).

  • ASL is viewed as a “philosophy of reciprocity, which implies a concerted effort to move from charity to justice, from service to the elimination of need” (Jacoby,1996, p. 9).


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Examples of ASL Experiences for CSD Students

ASL experiences include clinical practicum opportunities in the area of

early intervention and cognitive-linguistic rehabilitation and oral-motor/feeding

with the geriatric population.

St. Joseph’s Center Mother-Infant Home (SJCMIH)

This community-based program houses and provides various services

to qualified single women who are pregnant or who have recently given

birth. Infants-toddlers born to single mothers are identified as an at-risk

population. These at-risk infants and toddlers receive comprehensive

communication assessments, and as needed, therapeutic interventions

to facilitate communication development.


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Examples of ASL Experiences for CSD Students

Our Lady of Peace Residence (OLP)

This facility serves as a residence for aging and infirmed IHM

Sisters. Many of the Sisters exhibit dementia and related disorders as

well as benefit from using adaptive equipment for therapeutic feeding.

Both the SJCMIH and OLP settings provide excellent opportunities for

graduate students in SLP to provide comprehensive communication-language

and/or oral-motor-feeding evaluations for these special clinical populations.

Discussions with the Program Administrators at these facilities have identified

the need for these services, since the programs do not include funding to

employ speech-language pathologists.


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Examples of ASL Experiences for CSD Students

Choctaw Indian Reservation

During the 2005 Spring Break, an academic service-learning trip was planned

that involved taking students majoring in CSD or Education to the Choctaw

Indian Reservation in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Students worked in early

intervention, Head Start (Preschool), and elementary school programs. Under

supervision, CSD students provided speech-language screenings for 130

children and meet with the educational staff to discuss results and

recommendations. Education students conducted classroom observations and

assisted teachers with instructional strategies. Immersing students in

multicultural experiences, which bridge academic curricula and service…fosters

learning that transcends traditional classroom experiences (Griffer, 2006).


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References

  • Academic Service-Learning Committee. (2005). Definition of academic service-learning.

    Scranton, PA: Marywood University.

  • Griffer, M. R., (2006). Academic service-learning: Extending student learning and development to meet community needs. Marywood Impressions, Issue II, Summer, p. 7.

  • Erickson, J. A., & Anderson, J. B. (Eds.). (1997). Learning with the community: Concepts and models for service-learning in teacher education. Washington, DC: AAHE.

  • Jablonski, A. M. (2005, October). Expanding the definition of learning: Preparing teachers through civic engagement. Paper presented at 30th Annual Conference ATEE, Amsterdam.

  • Jacoby, B. (1996). Service-learning in today’s higher education. In B. Jacoby and Associates (Ed.), Service-learning in higher education: Concepts and Practices (pp. 3-25). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Mintz, S. D., & Hesser, G. W. (1996). Principles of good practice in service-learning. In B. Jacoby and Associates (Ed.), Service-learning in higher education: Concepts and Practices (pp. 26-52). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Zlotkowski, E. (2005, May 11). Integrating service-learning across the curriculum: Liberal learning for the 21st century. Lecture presented for Faculty Development Day, Marywood University, Scranton, PA.


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