A publication of the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center
What’s New in the VSLC? Do you ever find yourself looking for a book, journal article, reflection activity or quote to support your service-learning endeavors? The VSLC is here to help with our newly updated Service-Learning Library. The library is a collection of more than 150 publications, popular articles by experts in the field of service-learning, a reflection activity binder and service related quotes. Most items are available for check-out by faculty; quotes and reflection activities can be sent upon request via e-mail. The library is designed to support both the novice and advanced service-learning faculty member. From the basic what, why and how of service-learning course construction to discipline specific titles, the library can be a valued resource for anyone in need of service-learning texts and materials. Not looking for service-learning texts, but still interested in a good read? The Center also has titles related to volunteerism, servant leadership, community-based research, and poverty. For a full list of available titles, please contact Jessica Gagne Cloutier at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, if you’re in the Old Cafeteria Complex, stop by room 1604 to browse the collection.
Community Partner Spotlight Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines Girl Scouts of the USA was founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. Low brought girls together to help them develop a sense of responsibility, commit themselves to the highest ideals, and foster teamwork. Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines serves more than 32,000 girl members and nearly 10,000 adult members in 41 central and eastern North Carolina counties. Whether in technology or the arts, sports or medicine, business or government, Girl Scouts needs the help of ECU service-learning faculty and students to provide opportunities for girls to learn and grow. The following needs have been identified as areas that could be addressed through service-learning partnerships: marketing and promotional advertisements, program consultants to work with children, health and fitness consultants to provide program activities for girls, and programs for teen girls on ECU’s campus. Faculty interested in a partnership with Girl ScoutsNorth Carolina Coastal Pines should contact the VSLC. Next Spotlight: Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center
ECU Faculty Spotlight Amy McMillan-Capehart Department of Management
Hot Topics Publications of Interest Quarterly Reflection Activity
Calls for Papers Grants & Funding Opportunities Conferences & Events
East Carolina University
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“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” ~Woodrow Wilson
Amy MacMillan-Capehart, Assistant Professor in the Department of Management, sees service-learning as a win-win for both the student and the organizations they serve. She teaches online sections of MGMT 6802, Organizational Behavior and MGMT 6822, Business and Society with a service-learning component. After three years of utilizing service-learning pedagogy, she’s seen it make a positive difference in her students. One student said, “This experience has complimented the things I have learned in class. I was able to see the effect that an environment with very little structure had on people, including myself. I have learned the same amount from this experience as I have from the class, just in a different way. The experience was the practical application of the class material. In addition, the experience exposed me to a different type of organization and shed a new light on managing people.” Why do you choose to include an s-l component in this course? The s-l component is a great fit for Business and Society. The course focuses on the social responsibility of organizations and giving back to the community. By sending students out into the community they get an idea of the importance of social responsibility. I also want students to think about the possibilities of working for Not-for-Profit organizations. So many times MBA students are focused on For Profit companies that they completely overlook the possibility for working for Not-for-Profits. I just recently added the s-l component to the Organizational Behavior course. My desire is for the students to begin a reflection process that ultimately leads them to a better understanding of who they are. In addition, many of the MBA students are able to apply their own experience and learning in ways that help their community organization. It is a win-win for both the organization and the student. What are the benefits to your students, the community, your teaching? As I mentioned above, one of the benefits is that students are able to apply their skills and knowledge to the community organization. This gives the students great experience to add to their résumé. The community organization benefits from knowledgeable and skilled students. The hope is that the community organization is able to take advantage of what the student brings to the service. The benefit to my teaching is tremendous. These experiences often spark great discussions and ideas. I am able to get examples from students that I can use over and over again in later courses. In addition, especially for the Business and Society class, students see the application of the ideas we have discussed in class. What are the challenges? Some of the challenges are related to getting a good match for the student and the organization. Especially, with MBA students, this can be a challenge. Many of the MBA students have great skills and abilities that could be put to use by the community organizations. Sometimes they are asked to sort food or put together packages that they feel are not the best use of their skills. It is important to help them understand that every action, no matter how small it may seem, is a helping and giving back. Other challenges are related to finding community organizations all over the US and in some cases other countries. Do any of these benefits or challenges relate directly to the fact that this is a distance education (DE) course? The main challenge with implementing s-l with a DE course is related to finding organizations in the various geographical areas. We have students all over the US and even the world. Making sure that each student finds a community organization can be challenging. That is really the only difference between students here in Greenville and those in other locations. Eventually everyone finds a suitable organization and is able to complete the requirements. Another challenge is finding ways to discuss and share the experiences with one another. Luckily because of changes in technology this is getting easier. Instead of discussing the experiences in class we can set up different Centra sessions for students. The main challenge with this is the time requirement for me. Because of the nature of DE courses I may have to attend several different sessions to give everyone a chance to participate and discuss the assignment.
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What types of technology do you use in your course? Do any of these technologies affect the s-l component of the course? How? I use Blackboard and Centra. I also put the students into small groups of 3-4. This helps give everyone a chance to participate and share. No one is lost in a large class. If anything these technologies make it easier and more effective to implement s-l in the DE course. Students are able to share their experiences and talk about them in real time or in discussion boards. Describe your s-l component? Students are required to complete 10 hours of service learning over the course of the semester. They must register with the VSLC and their hours are submitted via fax or e-mail to the VSLC. The students are then required to complete a reflection essay regarding their experiences. There are 3 levels of reflection they can choose from: The Mirror (A clear reflection of the self ) Who am I? What are my values? What have I learned about myself through this experience? Do I have more/less understanding or empathy than I did before? In what ways, if any, has your sense of self, your values, your sense of “community,” your willingness to serve others, and your self-confidence/self-esteem been impacted or altered through this experience? Have your motivations for changed? In what ways? How has this experience challenged stereotypes or prejudices you have/had? Any realizations, insights, or especially strong lessons learned or half-glimpsed? Will these experiences change the way you act or think in the future? Have you given enough, opened up enough, cared enough? How have you challenged yourself, your ideals, your philosophies, your concept of life or of the way you live? The Microscope (Makes the small experience large) What happened? Describe your experience. What would you change about this situation if you were in charge? What have you learned about this agency, these people, or the community? Was there a moment of failure, success, indecision, doubt, humor, frustration, happiness, sadness? Do you feel your actions had any impact? What more needs to be done? Does this experience compliment or contrast with what you’re learning in class? How? Has learning through experience taught you more, less, or the same as the class? In what ways? The Binoculars (Makes what appears distant, appear closer) From your service experience, are you able to identify any underlying or overarching issues which influence the problem? What could be done to change the situation? How will this alter your future behaviors/attitudes/and career? How is the issue/agency you’re serving impacted by what is going on in the larger political/social sphere? What does the future hold? What can be done? by Mark Cooper, Coordinator, The VAC How do you facilitate reflection? The reflection is facilitated first with the reflection essay. This is a good way to get students to begin thinking about their experience. The challenge is finding ways to extend this reflection beyond just the individual student. This is where Centra and Blackboard play an important role in allowing students to come together to discuss the assignment and their own personal ideas and experiences. How do students identify community partners? Students identify community partners in a variety of ways. Many contact the VSLC for information about organizations in their area. Other students find organizations through friends and family. Some students have already spent time with a community organization and wish to continue. What are students learning from the s-l component that they couldn’t/wouldn’t learn from a traditional course (if applicable)? Not every student walks away from the experience with the same thing. The best scenario is when a student sees and/or experiences the application of knowledge that has been covered in class. The students not only learn about concepts presented in class but also learn about themselves in more ways than one.
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How is the s-l component introduced to students? Do you experience any dissent? The s-l component is first introduced via the syllabus. Then I arrange a Centra Session with the VSLC for an introduction and overview of service-learning and the VSLC. I also have a discussion board set up so that students can ask questions about the s-l assignment. There is often dissent, especially because many of the MBA students are nontraditional students with families and full-time jobs. Most of the time the students see the value of the assignment at the end, but some still do not think it is necessary or believe it is too much to expect. I have to make sure they understand the difference between volunteering and service learning. One comment I often face is that it is not volunteering if they are forced to do the hours. What challenges do students face in completing the s-l component? Time is a huge challenge for students. They often have trouble balancing school, family, and work. Adding an additional 10 hours can be overwhelming for some students. The other challenge is finding a good match. Luckily the VSLC can help with this! Finally, many students do not understand the process of reflection. They need assistance in understanding the reflection process. Do you feel an s-l component in this DE Section is as effective as it would be in a face-to-face section? Why or why not? Yes, the s-l component is just as effective as it would be in a face-to-face course. Students are able to complete all the requirements no matter where they are located. It allows students to feel more connected to the community, no matter where they are. Obviously you feel s-l is valuable and â€œdoableâ€? in graduate-level courses. Do you have any thoughts for graduate faculty who are hesitant about using s-l in their courses? My best advice is to take advantage of the VSLC. They have so many resources for helping students find community organizations. This is a tremendous help for DE students that are located all over the world. In addition, use this assignment/project to open discussion with students. This is a great way to make a connection with students who might otherwise go through their entire course of study without really making connections to faculty or other students. What advice or thoughts would you share with faculty who are considering the use of s-l in a graduate DE Course? The key is to find a way to tie the s-l to your course. Is the connection applying knowledge or skill, or is it seeing/understanding the application of what they are learning? S-l can be applied to any course, even the least obvious such as some of the fine arts or sciences or even accounting and finance. You can be as specific or as general as you want with the s-l assignment. For example, you can allow the student to pick an organization or you can give some criteria for making the choice. I also suggest that faculty take advantage of the VSLC. They are a great resource for finding community organizations. They do all of the hard work for you and have great ideas for organizations that might meet your needs. DE students may feel disconnected from the university. S-l provides an opportunity to open a discussion between students and faculty that can help the student feel more connected not only to his/her community, but to the university as well.
Would you like to have your service-learning efforts highlighted in a future edition o f S e r v i c e - L e a r n i n g Q u a r t e rly ? S e n d yo u r n a m e , p h o n e number and a brief description of your s e r v i c e - l e a r n i n g a c t iv i t i e s t o Jessica Gagne Cloutier at email@example.com
Dea d l i n e fo r O c t o b e r e d i t i o n : S e p t e m b e r 1 , 2 0 0 9
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Publications of Interest
Does the VSLC insure ECU constituents engaged in service? The VSLC carries an insurance policy through CIMA, designed specifically for organizations that use or manage individuals engaged in unpaid service activities. The Center encourages faculty utilizing service-learning pedagogy in their courses to ensure every student is covered by this free policy. The following are important features concerning coverage: • The policy covers ECU students, faculty, and staff engaged in unpaid service activities on and off campus. Coverage includes a $1 million dollar liability policy, medical expense reimbursement for covered accidents, and excess automobile liability insurance. • Coverage is free for ECU students, faculty, and staff, but is not valid until a signed registration form is returned to the VSLC. Registration forms are available on the VSLC Web site. • The policy covers most service activities, but does not cover professionals working within their job duties or individuals providing medical or emergency services. A full description of the policy is available at: www.cimaworld.com/htdocs/volunteers.cfm
Discovering the Boon
Charting a Hero’s Journey is a guide for written reflection based upon the work of Joseph Campbell. The following adapted prompt is one of many designed to help students critically consider the events of their service experience, in particular how those experiences add up to a new understanding, or, “the boon.” “The farmers I know in Dakota...live in what they laconically refer to as ‘next-year country.’ We hold on to hopes for next year every year in western Dakota: hoping that droughts will end; hoping that our crops won’t be hailed out in the few rainstorms that come; hoping that it won’t be too windy on the day we harvest, blowing away five bushels an acre; hoping, (usually against hope) that if we get a fair crop, we’ll be able to get a fair price....”
Pelham, A. & Sills, E. (2009) Promoting Health and Wellness in Underserved Communities: Multidisciplinary Perspectives Through Service Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC. Perez, W. (2009) We Are Americans. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC. Out Now Jacoby, B. (2009) Civic Engagement in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. DiFazio, W. (2006). Ordinary Poverty: A Little Food and Cold Storage. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
Hope has been named as one of the great boons of human life. No matter how bad a situation may appear, if hope remains all is not lost. •What hopes have you heard expressed by the people of your host community? How realistic are they? Are there class or age differences in the hopes expressed? • What hope is your agency trying to make real? What hope is the university trying to meet? What hope are you trying to meet? How well are you succeeding? • What do people hope for in your community? In your hometown, or your residence hall? Cite examples to illustrate the hopes of the culture. • Have you given hope to others as part of your service experience? Has your service experience given you new or changed hopes? What are your hopes for yourself ?
Quarterly Reflection Activity
Chisholm, L.A. (2000). Charting A Hero’s Journey, New York, NY: The International Partnership for ServiceLearning.
Forthcoming Titles Strait, J. & Lima, M. (2009) The Future of ServiceLearning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.
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Calls for Papers
Grants and Funding Opportunities
11th International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum: Teaching Citizenship and Civility It is a hallmark of civility within a society that those of opposing points of view can reasonably discuss their differences and find common ground. Teaching students to become civil citizens and modeling a civil society within our classes are always pressing concerns. The concept of citizenship may encompass a wide variety of ethical actions (such as volunteerism or philanthropy) and political relations (such as nationalism or globalism).
Building Healthy Communities Grant Program Grants, up to $2,500, are now available to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public schools or tax-exempt public service agencies in the US who are using the power of service to improve the physical health of their communities. Grants are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools or materials.
Submissions of papers and abstracts due by September 15, 2009. For more information please visit: http://slpapersproposals.blogspot.com/2009/05/international-conferenceteaching.html
A full description of the grant and grant guidelines is available at: http://corporate.homedepot.com/wps/portal/Grants
Conferences and Events Sixth Annual National Urban Service-Learning Institute August 5-7, 2009, New Foundations Charter School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania www.nylc.org/pages-newsevents
Mark Your Calendars! Million Meals Event August 22, 2009 Join more than 4,000 students, faculty, and community members as they join forces to feed the worldâ€™s hungry!
Find out more at: www.ecu.edu/vslc
Ninth International Research Conference on Service-Learning and Community Engagement October 9-12, 2009, Westin Ottawa Hotel, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada www.researchslce.org/ NC Campus Compact Student Conference November 7, 2009, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC Proposal Deadline: October 9, 2009 org.elon.edu/nccc/events/sc.html The 21st Annual National Service-Learning Conference March 24-27, 2010, San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA www.nylc.org/pages-programs-professionaldevelopmentNational_Service_Learning_Conference?oid=6463
Volunteer and Service-Learning Center Old Cafeteria Complex 252.328.2735 (phone) 252.328.0139 (fax) www.ecu.edu/vslc â€˘ firstname.lastname@example.org Judy Baker, Institutional and Community Development Consultant Jessica Gagne Cloutier, Service-Learning Coordinator Michael Loeffelman, Volunteer Coordinator Shawn Moore, Community Partner Coordinator
Summer Edition 2009