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)



Typical project cycle

Documentation

Typical Project Cycle


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

statcom@stat.purdue.edu http://www.stat.purdue.edu/statcom/