Walsh University Service-Learning report


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A snapshot & infographic of Fall 2013 service-learning course offered at Walsh University, as well as some of the student survey data.

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Walsh University Service-Learning report

  1. 1. Office of Service Learning | Fall 2013 Report Compiled by: Christy Burke Walkuski Director, Office of Service Learning Leaders in Service | http://www.walsh.edu/service-learning | Serve. Learn. Lead.
  2. 2. Office of Service Learning 2 OVERVIEW During the Fall 2013 semester, 221 Walsh University students dedicated just over 4000 hours of service to 37 local community partners. Service-Learning courses ranged in discipline from Business to Theology, with 14 class sections offered. The purpose of this report is to share service-learning stories, as well as demonstrate the impact that these experiences have on our students’ academic, personal, and civic learning. OFFICE OF SERVICE-LEARNING MISSION The Office of Service Learning's mission is to facilitate mutually beneficial service learning opportunities among Walsh and the local community. This is accomplished by supporting faculty as they develop and incorporate service learning into courses and by understanding community needs via established relationships with local organizations. FALL 2013 COMMUNITY PARTNERS Alliance Catholic Worker Belden Elementary / Lighthouse Ministries Boys & Girls Club Massillon Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Church of the Lakes Early Childhood Resource Center Early College Academy Fairmount Elementary Hartville Mennonite Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox House of Loreto Immaculate Heart, St James IMPACT Academy JRC Lehman Jr High Little Flower Catholic Mason Elementary McKinley High School North Canton Heritage Society Open M Free Clinic Parkvillage Health Care Center PATHS (Partners Against Trafficking of Humans - Stark) Quest Recovery and Prevention Services Reedurban Presbyterian Refuge of Hope Salvation Army Springtime of Hope St Louis Catholic St Mary Morges, St Francis St Michael Catholic St Paul Catholic St. Anthony All Saints Parish Stark County TASC STARS program Worley Elementary YMCA Stark Zion United Church of Christ Fall 2013
  3. 3. Office of Service Learning 3 FALL 2013 | SERVICE-LEARNING STUDENT PROFILE Data based on Student Service-Learning Survey administered to all SL Courses. N=194 fully completed surveys (221 students enrolled in SL courses) STUDENT MAJORS: 93% of students said they would recommend their Service-Learning course to another Walsh student 90% Agree or Strongly Agree that: “I was able to relate course readings and or class discussions to my work in the community” 95% Agree or Strongly Agree that: “This experience allowed me to gain new insight regarding issues & needs in the community” 94% Agree or Strongly Agree that: “Service learning helped me to understand how the course subject can be used in the ‘real world’” Fall 2013 96% Agree or Strongly Agree that: “I can make a difference in the community”
  4. 4. Office of Service Learning 4 SERVICE-LEARNING COURSE HIGHLIGHTS BSC 440 - Applied Behavioral Science Capstone (Dr. Jo Anna Kelley) This course prepares psychology, sociology and BAMA majors for practice in applied behavioral science settings. Students interact with clients, bridging the gap between theory and practice. Through hands-on application of micro-skills learned in prerequisite courses, students problem solve with clients and supervisors. In their own words… “This has been the most memorable experience I have had the opportunity to be a part of at Walsh. Because of this experience, I was able to gain many skills and much knowledge within the field of Social Work and the ever growing Elderly population. I am very eager to begin my journey in this field and to use the knowledge I have gained on my own clients.” (Senior, Applied Sociology, Family Studies major, BSC 440) BSN 362 - Global Information Systems (Brian Greenwell) Students studied conceptual foundations, structures and the development of effective data-based management systems, including analysis of appropriate hardware, software, and administrative controls. These concepts were applied in a community setting by students working in teams to conduct IT Audits for non-profit partners. These audit reports can then be used by partners for grant applications and to inform future technology strategy. Students learn to apply course concepts, while also expanding their understanding of the non-profit community. Partners included: House of Loreto, YMCA Stark, Refuge of Hope, Alliance Catholic Worker and North Canton Heritage Society. In their own words… “It was a good experience to see how complicated non-profit businesses are and how they work under a tight budget.” (Senior, Business Management Major, BUS 362) In their own words… As a result of this experience … “I plan on taking more notice to the current problems that are prevalent in today's society. I also plan on keeping in touch with the director of the North Canton Heritage Society.” (Junior, Accounting Major, BUS 362) Fall 2013
  5. 5. Office of Service Learning 5 EDUC 206 - Individuals with Exceptionalities (Jennifer Webb and Anne Marie Snyder) This course is designed to heighten awareness and increase understanding regarding those individuals in our communities and schools with various exceptionalities, including specific disabilities and cultural differences. The course provides a knowledge base for examination of one’s own perceptions and those of society in general while studying historical and current trends for education and lifelong issues. Education majors dedicate 10 hours of service to Canton City schools, working directly with students with disabilities or addressing issues of diversity. In their own words… As a result of this experience… “I will plan on working harder to make sure that every student achieves in the classroom. “ (Sophomore, AYA Social Studies Education Major, EDU 206) In their own words… “It allowed me to show who I am and what the real world will look like.” (Junior, Education major, EDU 206) EDUC 354 – Reading in the Content Area (Melinda Sales) This course provides a survey of principles, strategies and practical techniques used to assist students to deal effectively with reading and study materials in the content areas. Students serve in classrooms with students in need of supportive reading instruction. The course stresses the fact that reading is foundational for all content areas and teachers. In their own words… As a result of this experience I plan to… “Continue with service learning projects. It made me become more aware of some educational needs in the community and I hope to help more causes” (Junior, Middle Childhood Education: Math and English Major, EDU 354) In their own words… “The strategies learned are very helpful and will be able to be applied in the future” (Senior, Education, EDU 354) Fall 2013
  6. 6. Office of Service Learning 6 ENG 102E – Reading and Writing Connections (Dr. Mary Giffin) Serving in the community is combined with the academic objectives of this course in English composition. Students served as mentors and tutors for young learners at Belden Elementary School in downtown Canton. Writing assignments for the course were developed from topics that arose during students time in the community. Students then shared their new knowledge and perspectives in individual letters to the editor sent to the Canton Repository, discussing their points of view regarding their research topic. In their own words… “Changed my thoughts on inner city schools and possibly consider working in that type of environment.” (Senior, Education and History Major, ENG 102) In their own words… “I learned a lot about myself and my community” (Freshman, pre-physical therapy major, ENG 102) NURS 420 – Nursing with Aggregates (Larry Mustafaga) With an emphasis on community as client, students learn to address community health issues, which requires meeting the needs of individuals, families and aggregates who are the nucleus of community. The students apply principles from epidemiology, research, health education, and public health to appraise the health risks and resources of a selected faith community partner. Also, students familiarize themselves with community resources directed at promoting, maintaining, restoring, and reorganizing the health of various at-risk aggregates. Students collaborate with key partners to implement congregational health ministries relevant to that faith community. In their own words… “It helps to better understand the needs and problems that our communities have.” (Senior, Nursing Major, NURS 420) In their own words… “Gives you a chance to connect with the community and understand how everything is connected.” (Senior, Nursing Major, NURS 420) Fall 2013
  7. 7. Office of Service Learning 7 NURS 425 – Nursing with Families II (Patricia Flanagan) This course focuses on learning communication and therapeutic nursing interventions with children and families as the client. This semester students worked in teams to develop a Family Health Fair at Lehman Middle School in conjunction with Parent Teacher Conferences. Theoretical and empirical knowledge from the sciences and liberal arts is integrated to form the basis for interacting with families and children within a family-centered care framework. Cultural values and socioeconomic conditions are studied in relation to health related behaviors of families within a general systems framework. In their own words… “Going out into the community to serve others gives you greater respect for the community and teaches you that there is more to life.” (Senior, Nursing major, NURS 425) In their own words… “It was very beneficial and it made me feel like I made a difference in the community.” (Senior, Nursing Major, NURS 425) SOC 213 – Sociology of Growing Up (Dr. Laci Fiala) Walsh students worked with children at a variety of community organizations, including Belden Elementary, Salvation Army, and Boys and Girls Club of Massillon. They served as mentors and tutors, as well as facilitated after-school activities. These community experiences complimented the course material exploring sociological issues, theories, and research on childhood and adolescence and examining the social worlds provided for and created by children and adolescents. A variety of topics were covered, including the history of childhood and adolescence, peer cultures, educational problems such as achievement and violence, the impact of family change and problems, poverty and quality of life, teen pregnancy, and policies and programs that impact children. In their own words… “The experience was extremely beneficial. It allowed me to experience the course content for myself. It is one thing to simply read about something in a textbook but to actually experience it for yourself is a completely different thing. In my opinion, that is when the best and most effective learning takes place. Overall this opportunity was amazing for the simple reason that it opened my eyes to how the course content really plays out in life. It allowed for me to make real world connections of my own.” (Sophomore, Sociology/Criminal Justice Major, SOC 213) Fall 2013
  8. 8. Office of Service Learning 8 THEO 309 – Principles of Peace and Justice (Dr. Joe Torma) Students in this course consider principles of peace and justice through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. Dr. Torma advocates that education in social thought needs to be coupled with experience in order to be fully understood and transformational. As stated in Justice in the World, “This education…comes through action, participation, and vital contact with the reality of injustice” (53). This Fall students selected sites based on the sites ability to provide opportunities for students to learn about and critically analyze issues in our social system. Students provided a minimum of 20 hours of service with partners such as: Refuge of Hope, Partners Against Trafficking of Humans, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club, and JRC. In their own words… “I learned more in this course than any other class I have taken so far.” (Sophomore, BAMA program, THEO 309) In their own words… “In this class you will learn a lot about yourself plus you will be able to help others in the community. Also, this class teaches you how to cooperate with others in the real world by treating everyone as if a family would.” (Senior, Pre-Physical Therapy/Biology Major, THEO 309) In their own words… “I plan to participate in more community activities in the future. This was a life changing experience.” (Junior, Biology/Pre-Physical Therapy Major, THEO 309) THEO 408 – The Good Life (Dr. Chad Gerber) *Service-Learning By Arrangement This course closely investigates theories of human happiness, with particular attention to Western traditions in which this universally desired state is understood in terms of lifelong flourishing or fulfillment and identified with the life of faith and/or virtue. Service-Learning students had the opportunity to examine the practice of service to others through individual service experiences in the community. In their own words… “I would like to continue doing community service on a regular basis. It has helped me to work on my personal goals and treatment of others and I like the person who I am when I am serving others” (Senior, Biology-Pre-Dental major, THEO 408) Fall 2013
  9. 9. Office of Service Learning LOOKING FORWARD | LIVING OUR MISSION As we continue to develop “Leaders in Service” at Walsh the Office of Service Learning is working to develop new partnerships in the community, designing new courses, as well as new engagement opportunities for students across disciplines. Some exciting developments that are in the works include:  A new Student Service Leaders program that will launch in Spring 2014, in partnership with The Office of Financial Aid. Students selected for this program will be employed by the Office of Service-Learning and will work at key service-learning sites such as Belden Elementary and Salvation Army, providing direct service to students, as well as support for program staff. Students will also attend a monthly civic leadership workshop and provide support for new volunteers in service-learning classes at these partner sites. This is an exciting new program that will allow us to deepen the impact of our community partnerships and better prepare students for service.  New opportunities for faculty development, including increased technology tools for course orientation and reflection, as well as the Spring 2014 Service-Learning Boot Camp for faculty interested in service-learning. This boot camp will be a full-day community immersion where faculty participants will explore Canton, meet with community partners, and provide direct service, while integrating key principles of service-learning such as critical reflection. Each participant will leave with an individual service-learning action plan for future course development or re-design.  The Office of Service-Learning is also a proud collaborator with the new Blouin Leadership and Social Justice Learning Community which will begin recruiting its first cohort in Spring 2014. This program, housed in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will provide the opportunity for this community of students to take courses together and participate in direct service to the community, while exploring issues of social justice and leadership for social change. In their own words… “I think that it is an important part of the Walsh mission. I am glad to be a part of it.” (Sophomore, ECIS - Early Childhood Intervention Specialist Major, EDU 206) Fall 2013 9
  10. 10. Office of Service Learning 10 OFFICE OF SERVICE-LEARNING SUPPORTERS Service-Learning Faculty - A sincere thank you to each of the faculty highlighted in this report who dedicated time and energy to engage their students in powerful and transformative ways in our local community. Through challenging and critical conversations about complex issues and endless encouragement, it is our servicelearning faculty that work to bring learning to life for our students. Community Partners – Service-learning experiences are rooted in strong community partnerships and we are fortunate to have a community of outstanding non-profit organizations, schools, and civic leaders who invest time and wisdom working with each of our service-learning students. Our community partners are truly coeducators and help us to fulfill our important mission. Holly Brown – from participation in service-learning roundtable events and classes, to the support of day to day operations, Holly is an incredible support to the Office of Service-Learning, in addition to the multitude of other hats that she wears. I am so grateful for your enthusiasm for service and the role modeling and mentoring that you provide to each of our students. Dr. Ute Lahaie – many thanks for your guidance and support throughout the semester. Your passion for student success and encouragement to explore and support new ideas is so appreciated! In their own words… “I now realize that I have a responsibility to do what I can in order to help those who are in need. I need to remind myself that what I do might not ultimately change the world, but I can make an impact on people's lives”. (Junior, Biology Pre-Physical Therapy, THEO 309) In their own words… “This was truly a life changing experience. I would recommend service learning to all students. Some of the relationships that I formed with some of the kids I will remember for the rest of my life. The opportunity to spend time with the kids, make a difference in their lives, and just get to know them was truly rewarding. (Sophomore, Sociology/Criminal Justice Major, SOC 213) Fall 2013