"Service-learning is a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students work with others through a process of applying what they are learning to community problems and, at the same time, reflecting upon their experience as they seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves."*
The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, recognizes institutions of higher education that support exemplary student community service and service-learning programs, thereby encouraging growth in the number of college students engaged in community service and service-learning each year. Creighton University was named to the Honor Roll for the 4th consecutive year (2006-2010) and recognized "With Distinction" in 2007.
The Honor Roll's Presidential Award, given each year to only a handful of institutions, is the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement. The Honor Roll is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and is sponsored by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, the USA Freedom Corps, and the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.
Areas campus-wide at Creighton provided data for the 2011 report which included the Creighton student's academic service-learning and community service during the 2011-2012 academic year. In December 2012, the Office of Academic Excellence and Assessment shared a presentation with representatives from the areas the value of the input into the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Metro Area Service Learning Coalition
Creighton University is a member of the Metro Area Service-Learning Coalition. The 2011 theme is "Refugees."
The Coalition seeks to (1) increase collaboration and share selected service-learning programming among nine metro-area universities; (2) to offer coordinated programming on a selected topic each semester; and (3) to bring university and college resources to bear in educating students and the public about selected significant local, national and international issues.
Faculty Development Curriculum via On-Line Tutorial
Anyone interested in service-learning, may find the following materials on goals and objectives, site selection, reflection, and assessment of student learning of interest; however, these modules are specifically designed to assist faculty interested in developing academic service-learning within a course.
Each tutorial has an initial link that contains audio, video, and PowerPoint slides to guide your instruction. After watching the video tutorial, you will have the opportunity to engage in a series of worksheets and activities to complete the tutorial objectives.
Have you ever wondered what service-learning is all about? Well, this tutorial provides an introduction to service-learning and allows you to think about your initial perceptions about how service-learning may benefit your students and improve your courses. As Creighton's Jesuit mission is to act in service with and for others, you will be asked to think about how you and your students may engage in service-learning activities to create relationships with community partners, as well as how you may personally benefit by engaging in the pedagogy of service-learning in your personal and professional life.
Prior to creating the ideal service-learning course, instructors need to determine goals and objectives for student learning. In addition, this includes considering the type of student learner in your classroom your expectations of integrating civic responsibility into your service-learning course. This tutorial will guide you via examples and help you create appropriate goals and objectives in order to meet your course needs and your service-learning needs.
Just as it is important to identify the course goals, objectives and assignments, it is just as vital to choose the appropriate community partner for your service-learning course. The key is that a community partner and the partner's needs and strengths are picked that best fit with what you want to accomplish during the semester. In other words, the course should help identify the community; rather than the community site planning the course. This tutorial will provide some critical items to consider when choosing the best partner for your course because your involvement in this partnership is vital for the success of the course and your community relationship. Click here to view Creighton's list of service-learning activities.
One of the most difficult aspects of teaching service-learning is creating reflection assignments to make them meaningful to your students and to help students to become critical thinkers. Students have different learning styles and the trick is to creatively tap into these various styles to keep students engaged in the learning. This tutorial will challenge you to re-think how you assign materials and provide examples of reflective writing exercises to enhance your students' experiences.
Have you ever wondered if your students are really "getting it?" How do you know if your assignments and reflections are meaningful for your students? Students should be given a grade for the learning and not just the reflection of the service; however, this is sometimes difficult to evaluate and assess. This tutorial will help you identify ways in which you can examine your student's work through assessment and rubrics, as well as assess the effectiveness of your course objectives.
Students want to know the expectations of any course, but in particular, a service-learning course has some additional elements that should be contained in a syllabus. Creating a service-learning syllabus is the culmination of all of your great ideas, but it should also guide the students through this new form of pedagogy of which they may not be familiar. Students need to be informed of various expectations of this "additional lived text" for the course. This tutorial will identify the nuts and bolts to consider when creating a service-learning syllabus in order to provide your students the best experience possible with the fewest number of surprises.
* Eyler, J., & D.E. Giles, J. (1999). Where's the Learning in Service-Learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. As taken from the National Commission on Service Learning.