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What is Service-Learning?

Palm Beach State defines service-learning as "a teaching method that increases student engagement and success through community involvement to apply theories or skills being taught in a course. Service-learning furthers the learning objectives of the academic courses, addresses community and civic needs, and requires students to reflect on their activity in order to gain an appreciation for the relationship between civics and academics."

At Palm Beach State we envision a College that is a diverse community of active learners where achievement occurs in an environment without boundaries. We envision a responsive collaborative institution committed to the ongoing renaissance and enrichment of its community. Service-learning provides a teaching method to assist faculty, students and the community in fulfilling the College vision.

 

How does Service-Learning achieve the Palm Beach State Strategic Plan goals?

Palm Beach State will sustain an uncompromising commitment to excellence in teaching and learning.

  • Diversify opportunities for students to serve
  • Course-based Service-Learning

Increase the number of faculty offering high-quality, academically rigorous service-learning assignments as a part of their courses through:

  • Faculty workshops
  • Departmental presentations
  • The creation of faculty incentives
  • Co-Curricular Service-Learning activities
  • Work with Student Affairs to offer more co-curricular service-learning activities.
  • Aligning objectives and strategies for academic and civic learning in and out of the classroom.
  • Community Federal Work Study (CFWS)
  • Work with Financial Aid to establish/expand CFWS opportunities structured using the pedagogical structure of service-learning
  • Set up a CFWS program using the President’s Focus on Achievement Mentoring Initiative (could be based out of the office of recruitment and retention).
  • Create an America Reads program with the School of Education and the county public school system.
  • Utilize CFWS students to coordinate service based initiatives in Student and Academic Affairs (potentially including the assignment of CFWS students to faculty to support their service-learning activities or to the campus S-L Coordinator).
  • Expand support to partnering with organizations through providing them with CFWS students who will be required to make curricular connections to their placement in the community.
  • Service Internships
  • Work to enhance community partnerships by diversifying opportunities for students to engage in service with local governmental and non-profit organizations.
  • In addition to working with faculty to partner with community organizations, work with the career/intern/clinical/field placement specialists on campus to establish/enhance service internships.
  • Expand institutional support for service-learning

Palm Beach State will partner with and support Palm Beach County business, industry and government to sustain economic development, provide a skilled workforce and enhance the quality of life.

  • Establish service partnership with private for-profit businesses to expand corporate citizenship and philanthropic portfolios.
  • Engage college students in activities with disadvantaged youth (or related issues).

Palm Beach State will provide maximum access and seamless articulation with PreK-20 education systems to enhance educational opportunities.

  • This will address the state’s critical shortages of teachers and healthcare professionals.
  • Engage college students in activities with disadvantaged youth (or related issues).

Palm Beach State will ensure an environment that embraces and celebrates diversity in all areas of the college.

  • Develop best practices in international service-learning.
  • Create and implement international service-learning projects that promote public and private collaboration (i.e. receive a grant from USAID to have nursing students go to Haiti and offer basic healthcare services).
  • Utilize local international students to create opportunities to celebrate and promote diversity.
  • International students can be encouraged to help provide information on their country to other students of the college --- i.e. in special events/class presentations.
  • Students from abroad can work with S-L classes to plan for international projects and/or create local solutions to global issues.
  • Engage college students in activities with disadvantaged youth (or related issues).
  • Set up a CFWS program using the President’s Focus on Achievement Mentoring Initiative (could be based out of the office of recruitment and retention).
  • S-L projects that specifically focus on working with disadvantaged youth and celebrating diversity and helping with college access.

Palm Beach State will continually assess and improve productivity, cost effectiveness and accountability.

  • Produce research on the efficacy of service-learning.
  • Utilize a database management system to track students, hours, faculty, and community partners; S-L surveys; and comparative analysis of S-L and non-S-L classes.

What Have We Accomplished?

  • Palm Beach State has secured a $10,000 grant through Florida Campus Compact and the U.S. Department of Education, August 15, 2006.
  • Provided Speaker/Facilitator for October 18, 2006 Professional Development Day break-out session on Service-Learning.
  • Offered a Service-Learning Course Integration Workshop November 17, 2006 at Florida International University. Facilitator, Dr. Ed Zlotkowski, Professor of English and Founder of the Service-Learning Project at Bentley College and Senior Faculty Fellow at National Campus Compact.
  • Created a Service-Learning web site.
  • Faculty cluster agenda item for Spring 2007.
  • Provided presenters/facilitators for February 22, 2007 Professional Development Day. "Student Learning and Engagement: Motivating Students to Learn Through Service-Learning" and "Curriculum Integration: How to Incorporate Service-Learning Into Your Course".
  • In partnership with Florida Atlantic University, hosted "Bridging Our Colleges and Community Through Civic Engagement and Service-Learning" February 23, 2007. This workshop created contacts between faculty and agencies for potential service-learning projects.
  • May 2007 received commitments for 17 service-learning courses for fall semester 2007.
  • May 2007 completed Center for Academic Service-Learning Faculty and Community Partner Handbooks.
  • Computer database/tracking system for faculty, students and community partners.
  • Provide showcase of service-learning projects at fall Professional Development Day, 2007.


What Do We Hope to Accomplish?

  • Continued support for faculty, students and community partners.

Albert Einstein: “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

What Are the Benefits of Using Service-Learning?

For the Students

  • Enhances learning
  • Connects theory to practice
  • Encourages life-long commitment to service
  • Fosters civic responsibility
  • Explores majors and careers
  • Enhances employability
  • Receive job offers and scholarships
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Makes a difference in the community


For the Faculty

  • Engages more students
  • Reinvigorates teaching
  • Improves relationships with students
  • Offers professional development
  • Creates research and publishing opportunities
  • Make a difference in the community


For Palm Beach State College

  • Fulfills mission
  • Facilitates strategic plan
  • Produces higher quality graduates
  • Improves learning
  • Creates true partnerships
  • Increases community support
  • Fosters public relations and publicity
  • Makes a difference in the community


For the community

  • Provides infusion of people power
  • Meets community agency needs
  • Reinvigorates supervisors and staff
  • Explores new ideas and generates energy
  • Produces more informed and involved citizenry
  • Makes a difference in Palm Beach State College community

The Coordinating Committee is a group of faculty, staff and administrators that meet once a month to in an effort to develop the service-learning program at Palm Beach State College.

2009-2010 Committee Members
Betancourt-Hackett, Patricia
Boone, Jeanne
Flynn, Kerry
Froehlich, Trish
Ladika-Cipolla, Heidi
Millas, Joseph

Advisor: Dr. Sharon Sass, Vice President of Academic Affairs


Service-Learning Advisory Board
The Service-Learning Advisory Board is a group of faculty who have attended service-learning course integration workshops and who have had service-learning experience. This group will evaluate applicants for future service-learning workshops and project proposals.

Flynn, Kerry
Froehlich, Trish
Ladika-Cipolla, Heidi

Helen Keller
“Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves."


Community Partners
The community takes an active role in academic development of students who take part in service-learning courses. Community needs are focused on through course projects, volunteer hours and reciprocity.


Reciprocity
The service and the learning must be worthwhile and valuable for both the student and the community. There must be reciprocity between the server and those served.


Benefits for the Community

  • Provides infusion of people power
  • Meets community agency needs
  • Reinvigorates supervisors and staff
  • Explores new ideas and generates energy
  • Produces more informed and involved citizenry
  • Makes a difference in Palm Beach State College community


Community Partner Handbook


Liability Issues
Palm Beach State College Memorandum of Understanding

Herman Melville
"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results."


Faculty
Faculty members who choose to incorporate a service-learning component into their class curriculum act as facilitators in an alternative learning process. Learning may be assessed through class discussion, professionalism at the service agency, oral presentations, and structured reflection journals or papers that connect the service-learning project with the discipline.


Benefits for the Faculty

  • Engages more students
  • Reinvigorates teaching
  • Improves relationships with students
  • Offers professional development
  • Creates research and publishing opportunities
  • Makes a difference in the community


Number of Service-Learning Hours
Faculty members may determine their own number of hours for each course. Some faculty design one-time service-learning experiences that last a few hours, while other faculty members ask their students to complete 30 or more hours over the semester. The average number of hours is approximately 15 per term. There is no right or wrong number. Research does show, however, that the benefits increase based on the number of hours and the quality of the reflection activities.

No matter what number of hours you decide upon, remember that credit is given for academic learning not the number of service hours completed.


What is Reflection?
Reflection means the process of thinking about what we do and processing it to draw meaning from our experiences. Reflection is an intentional endeavor to discover specific connections between something we do and the consequences which result.

  • Reflection exercises connect service to educational theory and larger social issues, foster critical thinking and active citizenship, and help in the evaluation of students' progress.

  • Reflection can be informal... drawing connections between service and theory during lectures or everyday group discussion.
    Reflection can be formal... including the use of journals, group reflection activities, or electronically-posted questions.


Links to Examples of Reflection Activities


Liability Issues

Palm Beach State College Memorandum of Understanding

Database Form

For more information on complied research and resources: www.compact.org/resources-for-faculty

Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."


Resources

Palm Beach State College’s service-learning program owes much of its efforts to the Florida Campus Compact, Campus Compact, Miami Dade College, Florida Atlantic University and many others who have generously shared their resources. As part of the national service-learning movement, please share the materials, use the materials, build on the materials, and pass the materials on!


Syllabi Links

Campus Compact Service Learning Syllabi
National Service-Learning Clearinghouse

Albert Schweitzer
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know:the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."


Students
Students that participate in service-learning components understand that the “service" performed includes class participation, addressing the community needs, and reflection activities.


Benefits for the Students

  • Enhances Learning
  • Connects theory to practice
  • Encourages life-long commitment to service
  • Fosters civic responsibility
  • Explores majors and careers
  • Enhances employability
  • Receive job offers and scholarships
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Makes a difference in the community


What is Reflection?

Reflection means the process of thinking about what we do and processing it to draw meaning from our experiences. Reflection is an intentional endeavor to discover specific connections between something we do and the consequences which result.

Reflection exercises connect service to educational theory and larger social issues, foster critical thinking and active citizenship, and help in the evaluation of students' progress.

  • Reflection can be informal... drawing connections between service and theory during lectures or everyday group discussion.
  • Reflection can be formal... including the use of journals, group reflection activities, or electronically-posted questions.


Student Interest Links

www.palmbeachstate.edu/StudentActivities

www.floridacompact.org/awards.html

Student Log Sheet

Student Site Evaluation Form


Contact Info

Phone: (561) 868-3245  |  Email bierstes@palmbeachstate.edu

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