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Civic Engagement through Service Learning: Focusing our "I's" on the Future. Marilyn Simon, University of Cincinnati RWC, Behavioral Sciences Leslie Elrod, PhD, University of Cincinnati RWC, Behavioral Sciences Brenda Refaei, EdD, University of Cincinnati RWC, English & Communication

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civic engagement through service learning focusing our i s on the future

Civic Engagement through Service Learning: Focusing our "I's" on the Future

Marilyn Simon, University of Cincinnati RWC, Behavioral Sciences

Leslie Elrod, PhD, University of Cincinnati RWC, Behavioral Sciences

Brenda Refaei, EdD, University of Cincinnati RWC, English & Communication

Angie Woods, University of Cincinnati RWC, Foreign Languages

service learning rationale
Service Learning Rationale
  • Student engagement in educationally purposeful, high impact activities during the first year of college has a positive, statistically significant effect on student persistence.
  • High impact activities include: learning communities, writing-intensive courses, study abroad, student-faculty research, and culminating experiences.
  • Educationally purposeful activities include student participation in a community-based project as part of a regular course.

(George D. Kuh 2008)

service learning academic criteria
Service Learning Academic Criteria

Experience must be closely related to course or program goals and stated in the syllabus, with measurable objectives.

Non-classroom experience must meet the genuine and reciprocal needs of boththe student and the community partner.

Expectations must be clear and include critical thinking through guided reflection as part of a final product (paper, learning journal or activity).

slide5

Opportunities & Challenges

Opportunities:

  • Introduce students to disconnected, disenfranchised populations
  • Remove perception of “other-ness” when examining social contexts
  • Connection and engagement within own communities

Challenges:

  • Higher attrition rate (usu. ~10%)
  • Large classes
  • Transportation issues
  • Background checks
slide6

Student Possibilities

  • Organizational Behavior apply course concepts in MR/DD organization
  • Political Science assist voter registration polls
  • Communication facilitate petitions for local environmental group
  • Pre-Education observe in local schools
slide8

Opportunities & Challenges

Opportunities:

  • Real-life exposure to career opportunities
  • Re-evaluate preconceptions
  • Positive effect on resume’ and transcript
  • Supports lecture and text material

Challenges:

  • Finding appropriate Community Partners
  • Students must have electives SL appropriate
  • Maturity level of First-Year Students
  • Appropriate respect for Community Partner rules
slide9

Student Possibilities

  • Electronic Media web site construction or updates
  • Social Work social services assistance with different organizations (food bank, substance abuse drop-in center, etc.)
  • Nursing offering assistance at a Free Clinic
  • Pre-Education mentors/ tutors in math and/or reading skills
slide11

Opportunities & Challenges

Opportunities:

  • Engagement in the college community
  • Apply course concepts beyond typical class assessments
  • Become aware of opportunities in the college community

Challenges:

  • Finding enough placements for large classes
  • Time to complete course activities and service activities
slide12

Student Possibilities

  • Math/Sciences: Peer tutoring
  • E-media: Develop advertising to promote the school
  • Education: Tutor training programs
  • Environmental Science: Develop a recycling campaign for the institution
slide14

Opportunities & Challenges

Opportunities:

  • Interact in the target language with native speakers
  • Make connections between classroom learning and real world
  • Develop cultural competence

Challenges:

  • Students view ISL as an act of “noblesse oblige, rather than the development of a true partnership with the community members/organization as equals.” (Strother & Díaz-Greenberg, 2007)
  • Third party providers versus instructor designed ISL
slide15

Student Possibilities

International Partnership for Service Learning and Leadership http://www.ipsl.org

Amizade-Global Service-learning and volunteer programs http://www.amizade.org

The Center for International Service Learning for the Academic Community

http://www.islonline.org

references
References

Kuh, G. D. (2008) Diagnosing why some students don’t succeed. The Chronicle of Higher Education 55(16): pp. A72.

Kuh, G. (2008). Unmasking the effects of student engagement on first-year college grades and persistence. Journal of Higher Education 79.5: pp. 540-566.

Strother, D. L. & Díaz-Greenberg, R. (2007) Harnessing the potential of international service-learning: An example working with a bilingual Mayan/Spanish community. In Wurr, A. J. & Hellebrandt, J. (Eds) Learning the language of global citizenship: Service-learning in applied linguistics. (pp. 223-244). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.

United Way & Community Chest (2000). Directory of Community Services for Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Cincinnati: United Way.

Waldbaum, R. (2003). International service learning and student values: Seeking higher ground. Quoted in Section II International service learning in Wurr, A. J. & Hellebrandt, J. (Eds) Learning the language of global citizenship: Service-learning in applied linguistics. (pp. 219). Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.