A publication of the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center
Hot Topic: Communicating with Service-Learning Partners The Promise of Partnerships (Campus Compact, 2005, p. 69) suggests “frequent communication among [servicelearning] partners is crucial to the success of the partnership. Communication among the partners involves not only planning and coordination of partnership activities, but ongoing feedback as well.” The VSLC regularly hears stories about service-learning partners’ unanswered phone calls and e-mail messages, unmet expectations, confusion about shared goals and more. These challenges stem almost entirely from poor communication between partners. As this semester’s partnerships come to an end, here are some tips for better communication in the spring. Communicate early: From the VSLC perspective, partnerships initiated at the last moment are most likely to encounter challenges and set-backs. Plan partnerships as far in advance as possible—a semester in advance is best—and work together to establish shared goals and expectations assess risk, agree upon language, and build trust; doing this helps create the foundation for a successful partnership. Other best practices include: selecting one contact person to represent the community partner, identifying how partners will communicate (phone, E-mail, face-to-face), and setting a communication schedule. continued on page 3
Community Partner Spotlight GO-Science is a 501(c)(3) social enterprise formed to provide a place where children and adults of all ages and abilities are encouraged to develop their full potential through interactive, informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities, events, and programming. Go-Science currently reaches 20,000 participants annually, and has over 400 volunteers engaged in service to the community. Go-Science programming currently includes NanoDays, Science Cafes, Second Life Science, and delivery of planetarium programming using the only full dome planetarium in eastern NC. Another program, STEMNet, utilized an advanced community learning management system to deliver STEM opportunities like the NC Online Science Fair to rural and under-served areas. GO-Science offers a variety of service opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. A a GO-Science explainer team member, you can facilitate and guide participant learning from interactive exhibits. Or join the tech team and collaborate with technology minded individuals to create innovative on and off-line deployments that support the mission of GO-Science. Contact Roger Conner at email@example.com to learn more. Next Spotlight: Center for Family Violence Prevention
Publications of Interest Quarterly Reflection Activity
Call for Proposals Grants & Funding Opportunities Conferences & Events
The Volunteer and Service-Learning Center supports a variety of service-learning courses each year— courses that represent nearly every college and school at ECU. Below is a breakdown of service-learning course sections from the 2009/2010 academic year, as well as current numbers for this semester. These numbers represent only those courses reported to the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center—courses not reported to the Center are not accounted for. These numbers should therefore be considered a snapshot of service-learning at ECU. Service-Learning Sections by College/School, 2009-2010
East Carolina University
Service-Learning Quarterly Page 2
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences College of Allied Health Sciences College of Business College of Fine Arts and Communication 5
College of Health and Human Performance College of Human Ecology College of Technology and Computer Science
Graduate School (BUSI courses)
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, one finds it attached to the rest of the world.” ~John Muir
Service-Learning Sections by College/School, Fall 2010
Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences College of Allied Health Sciences College of Business
College of Fine Arts and Communication College of Health and Human Performance College of Human Ecology 4 3
College of Technology and Computer Science Graduate School (BUSI courses) Honors College
Service-Learning Quarterly Page 3 continued from page 1 Communicate frequently: Itâ€™s not enough to communicate only during the planning processâ€”set an ongoing communication plan and stick to it. The VSLC recommends that at a minimum, partners communicate three times throughout a given semester: once to plan, once to assess progress mid-semester, and once to assess final outcomes at the end of a partnership. Many partnerships are foiled in the last weeks of the semester when community partners are left out of the evaluation process, or, never receive final products. Communicate clearly: Just as some courses utilize multiple community partnerships during a semester, community partners are often involved with more than one service-learning course each semester. It sounds like common sense, but many of the communication challenges brought to the VSLC each semester could be avoided if constituents included identifying details in their communication. Communicate only with the pre-selected contact person, send E-mail from ECU and business accounts only, include a relevant subject line or phone message that identifies the related course name and number, and reference agreed upon expectations and goals.
The Disciplinary Lens
adapted from Cress et al, Learning through Service p.117
Ask students to make a list of the skills needed to succeed in their major or academic discipline. Lists can include general aptitudes like time-management and flexibility, but should also examine skills specific to their course of study or ideal career placement. Next, students should make a list of the needs and activities of their service-learning community partner(s). Finally, students should compare the two lists and identify connections between their overall skill sets and potential community activities.
Free Resources on the Web: Maximizing the Long-term Sustainibility of Service-Learning: Lessons from a Study of Early Adopters Webinar servicelearning.org/webinars/maximizing_longterm_sustainability_service-learning. Steinberg, K.S., Bringle, R.G., & Williams, M.J. (2010). Service-learning research primer. Scotts Valley, CA: National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. servicelearning.org/filemanager/download/9054_ service-learning_research_primer.pdf Publications: Dunlap, M.R., Evans, S.Y., Taylor, C.M., & Miller, D.S. (2009). African Americans and community engagement in higher education. Ithaca, NY: State University of New York Press.
For example, how might an English major contribute to Give2theTroops efforts to collect and send care packages to troops stationed around the world? How might a biology major contribute to the Girl Scouts efforts to build girls of courage, confidence and character? How might an interior design student improve the quality of life for people living at the Greenville Community Shelter? Students should then gather in small groups or participate in a class discussion to compare and contrast their individual responses. Students should be able to reveal a variety of ways they can connect their growing academic expertise to activities that meet community needs. Students can then craft an action plan for future service using a handout available from the VSLC. Volunteer and ServiceLearning Center staff are also available to help students plan future service on an individual or group basis. Contact the VSLC at 328-2735 for more information or to schedule an in class reflection or presentation.
Quarterly Reflection Activity
As the semester comes to a close, students will complete their service-learning projects and end partnerships. The reflection activity that follows can assist students as they explore the potential impacts they might have on the global community through continued or future service and service-learning activities.
Publications of Interest
Call for Proposals Metropolitan Universities Metropolitan Universities, a quarterly journal, is soliciting article proposals for an upcoming issue that will examine how universities are using Web 2.0 technologies to educate students, collaborate with community members, and work more efficiently. The journal is especially interested in quality articles which address how Web 2.0 is being used in the context of metropolitan universities (e.g., student life, retention, commuters, part-time students, diverse language and cultural backgrounds, first-generation student, budget reductions, etc.). Submission Deadline: January 7, 2011 For proposal submission instructions see: muj.uc.iupui.edu/.
Service-Learning Quarterly Page 4
Grants and Funding Opportunities RGK Foundation awards grants in the broad areas of education, community, and medicine/health. The foundationâ€™s primary interests within education include programs that focus on formal K-12 education (particularly mathematics, science and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education. All applicants must complete an electronic letter of inquiry from the Web site below. For more information, go to: www.rgkfoundation.org/ public/guidelines. Application Deadline: Ongoing
Conferences and Events Mark Your Calendar
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service January 17, 2011 More information available soon at: ecu.edu/vslc
North Carolina Campus Compact Pathways to Achieving Civic Engagement (PACE) Conference February 9, 2001, Elon University, Elon, North Carolina org.elon.edu/nccc/events/slc.html. 2011 Gulf-South Summit for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education March 2-4, 2011, Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, Roanoke, Virginia www.cpe.vt.edu/gulfsummit/index.html. 22nd Annual National Service-Learning Conference April 6-9, 2011, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atlanta, Georgia nslc.nylc.org/. 14th Annual Continuums of Service Conference April 27-29, 2011, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego, California www.wacampuscompact.org/cos/2011/cos.shtml.
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 Alice Tyson, Office Manager Katie Winn, AmeriCorps*VISTA
Happy Holidays! Winter Edition 2010