Service Learning Initiative Continues to Grow at Kent State Tuscarawas
Each semester, our students address a variety of important community issues concerning health, housing, cultural, educational and environmental issues. Working individually, and as teams, they mobilize to share their knowledge and skills, making a difference in the lives of others. In doing so, they enrich their own learning experiences, both in acquiring new skills and in crossing boundaries; experiences they may never have had without the structure of the service learning class. As an outcome, we are preparing our students for a lifetime of community service.
During the 2007-08 academic year, our Service Learning project involved 10 faculty members, 22 course sections, 400 students and 15 community partners. Total volunteer time is estimated at an impressive 3,939 hours. Some of the dynamic community engagement opportunities included: Dr. Willey's English courses tutored children residing at the Friends of the Homeless shelter and worked with the Even Start program tutoring English language learners; Lisa Brindley's early childhood course assisted public school psychologists with reading assessments for children in grades K-3; Dr. Dean Porr's business students updated and expanded the disaster handbook for the American Red Cross Muskingum Lakes Chapter; and two of Dr. Alice Crume's classes worked with the local library on a customer service improvement project.
Students are responding enthusiastically to the opportunity to be engaged outside of the classroom. Fall 2008 semester participation included 298 students, 11 faculty and 15 course sections incorporating a service learning component. Spring semester experiences will conclude with seven faculty, 10 course sections and an estimated 248 students.
As a result of our faculty's efforts, Kent State Tuscarawas was named to the 2008 and 2009 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, for exemplary service efforts and service to disadvantaged youth. Launched in 2006, the Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service learning and civic engagement.
Dr. Gregg L. Andrews
Dean, Kent State Tuscarawas