In these programs, field-based “experiential learning” with community partners is an instructional strategy—and often a required part of the course. The idea is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life.
Many departments on campus provide experiential learning experiences for students. There are three departments that focus specifically on them:
- Academic Service Learning (Jan Bowers, Family and Consumer Sciences Michaelson 100, #2770, email@example.com)
- Center for Leadership and Community Engagement (Manuel Rodriguez, #1850, SURC 256, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Office of Field Experiences in the College of Education & Professional Studies (Gary Ballou, Black 101, #1962, email@example.com)
Facts at a Glance:
- The Office of Field Experiences oversees all field experience placements such as Pre-Fall, Field Experience and Student Teaching to insure students meet state and university requirements.
- The Academic Service Learning (ASL) project is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of the course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility
- The Center for Leadership & Community Engagement connects students and other community stakeholders for educational service and leadership development programs promoting positive social change.