The March session of ProVisions Teaching and Learning series was on Teaching and Service learning. The three presenters talked about what service learning is and shared some of their own teaching experiences with service learning.
Dr. Fred Boehrer, Coordinator of Academic Service Learning, discussed what academic service learning actually is. Dr. Boehrer discussed service learning as a “classroom based learning experience” in which students meet needs of a community group by volunteering. During their service time students will also be reinforcing the learning objectives for the course they are taking. According to Dr. Boehrer service learning can be used in courses across the disciplines. For further investigation into using service learning he directed everyone to visit Campus Compact at www.compact.org The website has resources for faculty, students, and community partners/organizations, including many syllabi organized by discipline. Using service learning in the classroom is a wonderful way to show students how to become involved with the community in a positive manner. Next, Dr. Boehrer talked about the steps to implementing a service learning project into a classes course work – IPARD. The first step is to Investigation potential organizations to work with. Planning the project is the next step followed by Action. During the action step, students go out and perform the duties the partner/organization needs them to complete. The next step is Reflection. Students should reflect on their experiences either where they completed the service learning, in class, or in both places. The last step is Demonstration; which is a way students can share with peers in the course their experiences and how those experiences have expanded their understanding of the material in the course.
Dr. Boehrer’s Handouts
Dr. Stephanie Bennett, Assistant professor of Sociology and Research Fellow for the Institute for Community Research and Training, shared her own experience with teaching service learning in a public health class. Dr. Bennett wanted to make her course interesting. She decided to have her students become involved with a public health campaign after talking to a colleague. This was the start of a very successful service learning project that has been producing public health pamphlets and other promotional texts for the College of Saint Rose and even some for the University of Albany. The first pamphlet was for Alcohol Awareness with a sub-topic on how swine flu was being spread through drinking games. Another pamphlet was produces on online harassment/cyber stalking. The most recent pamphlet was about tobacco use – attribute to our now smoke free campus.
Students Pamphlet Examples
Dr. Claudia Lingertat-Putnam, Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Counseling and College Student Services Association (CSSA) Programs, shared her service learning teacher experiences with the Refugee and Immigrant Support Service of Emmaus (RISSE). Her counseling students went in with lesson plans for the children. Their involvement with the program ended up helping with some of the issues refugees were facing in the program such as tolerance and decision-making. Dr. Lingertat-Putnam’s guest speaker, Rifat Nazir, from RISSE said the students’ plans helped bridge a gap between the refugees of many different cultures. At first, Dr. Lingertat-Putnam’s students – who were not teachers – worried about the project. However, by the end they were extremely comfortable and enjoyed their experiences.