Fullerton: How Service Learning Boosts Community College Student Success
Fourteen Golden West College (GWC) faculty members received training on service-learning pedagogy from CSU Fullertonís Center for Internships and Community Engagement as part of the CSUís Give Students a Compass grant program. The Compass program supports innovative partnerships between CSU institutions and California Community Colleges aimed at advancing underserved student success and retention through engaged learning experiences such as service learning. As a result of this new partnership, service learning was added to 10 general education courses at Golden West, resulting in 531 community college students becoming more engaged with their communities and reporting a greater likelihood of retention and transfer to a four-year institution. As a step toward greater institutionalization of service learning at GWC, 10 faculty members will receive stipends from the Presidentís Office for offering a service learning course in the 2013-14 academic year. Discussions are underway to explore inter-campus collaboration on a peace/sustainability track for transfer students who start at Golden West and continue at CSU Fullerton.
“I think students today are very concerned about the relevance of their studies. Usually, that relevance is understood in terms of marketable workplace skills. High-impact practices like service-learning open up a different universe of relevance. Students are inspired and motivated to learn, not just because they are gaining career skills, which they are, but because they actually feel that they can make a meaningful contribution to the world. Their University experience becomes more than a necessary career investment; it becomes about learning how to connect and contribute to their community.”
óSaul Tobias, Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies Department
faculty enhancing campus programs:
CSU Channel Islands students in Liberal Studies 200 partnered with the Ventura County Juvenile Justice System to create the inaugural service learning initiative, the Prison Education Project, to mentor and tutor incarcerated youth at the Ventura Youth Correctional Facility in Camarillo.
The Civic Urban Education minor launched in fall 2012 provides Fresno State students with the opportunity to gain a strong background in urban studies, work with diverse communities and understand and learn how to implement effective components of service learning pedagogy.
As the recipient of Cal Poly Pomona's 2013 Faculty Award for Civic Engagement, history professor Eileen Wallis personifies the Cal Poly motto of “learn by doing.” In partnership with the Historical Society of Pomona Valley, Dr. Wallis, who teaches three service-learning courses, organized several service-learning projects in which her students created docent guides and online exhibits of the agricultural history of Pomona, and aided in the preparation of conferences on the region.
“Experientia Docet” (Experience Teaches), the motto of San Francisco State (SFSU), embodies the institution's century-old commitment to community and civic engagement. Faculty engagement at SFSU not only impacts the 9,000 students enrolled in nearly 500 service-learning courses annually, but it extends beyond the classroom.
Rain was brought indoors to more than 200 fifth and sixth graders at Osborn Elementary School in Turlock, CA. CSU Stanislaus students in Dr. Augustine Avwunudiogba's geography class set up rain simulators for the elementary school children that replicated the effects of rain on four soil test plots.