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Service-Learning and Social Action: Transforming Campus and Community

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Grace Andrews

on 7 June 2011

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Transcript of Service-Learning and Social Action: Transforming Campus and Community

Service-Learning and Social Action: Transforming Campus and Community A reflective presentation on a year of service Grace Andrews
AmeriCorps*VISTA I work in the Office of Community Engagement and Service I work at Miami University I work for Ohio Campus Compact I work as an AmeriCorps*VISTA Our Mission:
To catalyze mutually
beneficial campus and
community partnerships So what's the connection? 1 2 3 Non- profits and social service agencies working to alleviate poverty in communities are under-resourced, short-staffed, and lack funding. Universities have resources: technology, research, philanthropies, and PEOPLE Through campus and community partnerships,
poverty-alleviation agencies are better able to fulfill
their missions by accessing these vital resources The VISTA Job: How it all gets done! Coordinating ongoing
Service-Learning
partnerships between students, faculty, and community partners
that enhance learning while meeting authentic community needs Developing
and implementing
new poverty-alleviation
programming and initiatives,
and providing support
for existing
initiatives Contributing to a campus environment in which Miamians are aware of the existence of poverty and related issues in the community, and facilitating a culture shift toward that end. Service-Learning at Miami “I was surprised that I enjoyed Service-Learning as much as I did… I was able to work side by side with members of the community and get to know them. I think the experience changed my perspective because a lot of people who came in to Serve City were homeless or struggling to get by because they had children and it was difficult to support a family. I felt more connected with them..." Service-Learning is an experiential pedagogical practice that uses action and reflection to meet needs and enhance learning through mutually beneficial, reciprocal partnerships ... students apply the skills they learn in class to build capacity for their community partners. Their ongoing service informs their coursework Students gain Communities gain *critical thinking skills
*community respect
*social awareness
*meaningful context


*human capital
*new tools/resources
*sustainable partnership
*capacity Ohio Benefit Bank Problem: Solution: Miami can: * Over $1.6 Billion in tax credits and support programs go unclaimed by Ohio citizens
* increasing demand for social services * free, web-based service
* citizens access max refunds and benefits
* enhancement of income *offer tax and benefit counselor trainings
*connect counselors to OBB sites
*host client sessions and workshops Understand Federal Programs Directly Alleviate Poverty Stimluate Local Economy Improve Town-Gown Consciousness and Social Action Social Action Center the crossroads
for creating connections
between Miami and the larger world


a place to inspire and educate
students to take effective
action WST 103/203 Two tiered course that explores Service-Learning
pedagogy and social justice issues

Students can take action and make change as
undergraduate leaders Campus Partnerships ResLife Western Wilks Social justice
studies urban teaching
cohort The Transformation Model Beneficiary
Focus Provider
Learning Recipient
Service Problem Alleviation Systemic change Volunteerism
philanthropy ongoing community service Service-Learning internship field work Social action and advocacy Engaged citizenship:
to preserve democracy Political
Systems Educational
Systems Economic
Systems Social
systems Problem Posing Education: Paulo Freire an education which raises the consciousness of students to become aware of real structural problems and which challenges students to position themselves within those structures. This education calls for acts of cognition rather than deposits of information, and challenges the vertical teacher-student relationship through a horizontal, dialogical relationship. Perhaps the most important aspect of problem posing education is that it “strives for the emergence of consciousness and critical intervention in reality” Such intervention in reality is the mark of an engaged citizen “The aim of the undergraduate experience, is not only to prepare the young for productive careers, but also to enable them to live lives of dignity and purpose; not only to generate new knowledge, but to channel that knowledge to humane ends; not merely to study government, but to help shape a citizenry that can promote the public good” (Ernest Boyer 1987) Connecting the Dots Service-Learning +Social Action = Transformational Mechanisms For Campus:


For Society:


For Community: Student Development, Campus Life & Culture,
Pedagogical Practice, Institutional Values engaged citizenry, Ill-structured problems,
counter-hegemonic inquiry and action capacity building, access to resources,
long term shift in conditions for the public IMPACT to COMMUNITY 9 Individuals served through OBB initiative during 2011 tax season 14 Counselors trained at first OBB training hosted at Miami 30 Core partnerships served through Service-Learning 8 New or renewed
partnerships 703 Volunteers generated by VISTA through Service-Learning 9,785 Total hours of
service to community $209,007 Total value of combined volunteer hours i.e. money saved by community partners through VISTA connection $7,795 Funds generated through Pledge-A-Meal to be donated to local food pantries IMPACT to CAMPUS 15 Number of courses that received S-L designation $1,830 Funds obtained for various student projects 86%
83%
92%
84%
88%
83%
86%
75% of students feel that S-L enhances course content indicated that S-L impacted their choice of major learned how content is applied to reality via S-L felt S-L should be practiced more often at Miami felt that S-L impacted their values and priorities felt more connected to
their community via S-L felt S-L helped them
understand SJ issues Plan to stay involved in
their communities 5 Letter-writing
campaigns held
by SAC 4 SAC-led trips to
advocacy events “Throughout the community, nation, and world, people with disabilities are unfairly underestimated and even mistreated at times. Programs such as [Bridge Riding for the Disabled] work to combat the stereotypes that are often [associated with] those with disabilities. I'm proud to say that I am a part of that cause.” “It enlightened me on some of the things I will have to understand as a teacher. In this case, these kids have a home that isn't really home to them. The social factors outside of school were completely different. It certainly showed me a different side of high school than what I had been through.” “My experience at Artistry Farm awakened me to the intricacies of small-time farming and the vital role it plays in the Oxford food system. Having an inside look at the dairy goat farming niche enabled me to contribute to the WMS 410 class discussions in a unique way, facilitating our construction of an accurate snapshot of food in Oxford. I was able to put theory to practice and apply class discussion topics directly to the community I was working within, and vice-versa.” Unfinished Business Increasing on-campus
stakeholders Implementing Minor
in Service-Learning Forging partnerships and working collaboratively Making matches where matches can be made Multi-disciplinary, no new courses Framework for Social Justice across disciplines Service-Learning in
the Miami Plan Social Action Center
as an OBB site Increasing student awareness
of Service-Learning Institutional
Investment Over 50 courses to choose from "Makes Sense" to Miami students Host workshops and trainings Welcomes community members to campus A "Different" kind of service New Student Programs K'NEXions campaign Retention and Graduation Rates "High Impact" Activity Board of Trustees wants S-L increases Take this work to the next level
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