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Faculty and Staff

Service Learning and Faculty/Program Development Workshop

Faculty and staff are a vital part of service at SAU. Faculty service is a part of the advancement process and staff are recognized annually for serving above and beyond their normal job responsibilities. More important, service and service learning provide our students opportunities for experiential learning across the curriculum and co-curriculum.

Definition of Service Learning
"Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning" (Jacoby, 1996; 2003).

Service learning also is recognized in research on college students as a high impact educational practice.

"The idea of service-learning is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life" (Kuh, 2008).

Establishing a service-learning course/project includes the following stages:
1. Design. Driven by the clear vision of the desired outcomes of the course and in consultation with Paula McNutt, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences;
2. Implementation. Facilitated by the faculty member in partnership with relevant community agency and the support of Service Learning Staff.
3. Outcome. Evaluation of the actual outcomes provides information for redesign and repeated implementation

Service Learning helps students to:

1. Master the course content by applying it to real life situations;
2. Develop competencies of social and civic responsibility;
3. Address ethical and social issues associated with the course material.

Developing your service-learning component:
1. Consider which outcomes you as the instructor consider essential to the course. What are the 2-3 desired outcomes for the service-learning experience for each of the four constituents: Students, community, institution, faculty;
2. Define the type of service-learning format/project that will be best suited for achieving the outcomes/objectives and determine the manner and the extent to which the service component will be integrated into the course;
3. Meet with Paula McNutt to brainstorm a list of community partners with whom students can do the kind of project desired while meeting a genuine community need;
4. Determine how student learning will be facilitated and documented;
5. Establish clear processes for implementing and monitoring the projects

Ways to integrate service within your course:
1. Option within a course: Students have the option to become involved in a service-learning project and a portion of the normal coursework is replaced with a service-learning component
2. Required within a course: All students are involved in service as an integral aspect of the course.
3. Class service projects: Entire class is involved in a one-time service project. One-time projects have different learning outcomes than ongoing service activities.
4. Independent 4th credit option: Students negotiate with the instructor to define the parameters of the service component and ways to document learning derived from the service.
5. Disciplinary capstone projects: Service-learning builds upon students' cumulative knowledge in a discipline and demonstrates integration of knowledge with real life issues.
6. Service research projects: Involves students in research within the community. The results of the research are communicated to an agency or community organization so it can be used to address community needs.
From: Enos, S.L., & Troope, M.L. (1996). Service-learning in the curriculum. In B. Jacoby & Associates (Eds.), Service-learning in higher education: Concepts and practices, 156-181. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.