Service Learning Summer Institute
The USI Service Learning Program and the Center for Academic Creativity co-sponsored four Service Learning Summer Institutes in May or June 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The goal of the institutes was to increase faculty and staff proficiency in using service learning pedagogy as part of USI’s commitment to community engagement. Participants were encouraged to not only enhance their teaching but to also make productive connections between their teaching and scholarship, which several of our institute alumni have done.
The institutes have included these components:
- Basic orientation to service learning.
- Best practices and tips for success.
- Introduction to USI’s Service Learning Program.
- • Revision of a course taught in at least one of the three semesters following the institute to include a service learning project.
- Work with project community partner during the institute.
- Advice on devising projects to optimize impact on faculty scholarly/professional programs and success.
- Consideration of curricular impact.
Participants were asked to identify a particular project with a specific partner in applying for the institute, and the partners joined us for lunch and stayed to work on the project.
Proposals were evaluated on the on the following criteria:
- Demonstrates connection between the learning goals of the course/program and the project.
- Good plan to integrate the project into the entire course/program.
- Addresses an important community need.
- Incorporates the campus' service learning criteria and learning outcomes.
- Shows chance of a significant impact on some aspect of the curriculum of the campus, either Core Curriculum or the curriculum of one’s department or program.
- Advances USI’s mission of serving the local or global community.
- Advances an individual’s overall professional development program, especially by showing a connection with the issue of community engagement.
Since 2011, faculty and staff development have focused on small grants to a broader group of employees to organize service learning projects outside of the classroom and an assessment project that is focusing on outcomes from both academic and co-curricular service learning experiences.
Click on the links below to download calendars of current and past co-curricular projects.
Each semester, USI offers a variety of service learning courses for academic credit. Courses integrate community service, faculty instruction, and structured reflection.
For a list of past and current credit-based courses, click on the links below.