Service Learning was initiated in 2001 through a Learning by Doing grant to RCTC from the Center for Teaching and Learning. Since that time, over 2000 students have participated in Service Learning projects in courses including English, Sociology, Psychology, Economics, Speech, Philosophy, Dental Hygiene and Fashion Retail Merchandising. Service Learning has been used successfully in courses of every academic area at schools across the country. From 2002 until the present there has been no formal Service Learning Program at RCTC although individual instructors have continued to implement it in their courses. As of Fall 2007, RCTC is reviving the program and has provided for release time for a staff person and faculty to promote the program. There is also a very limited budget available for projects. In 2008, RCTC adopted civic responsibility as a core outcome. This states that students will understand larger social issues, demonstrate social responsibility, and contribute to positive community change through civic engagement. Service Learning is one avenue through which students can achieve this outcome.
What is Service Learning?
The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse is an excellent resource for anyone involved with or contemplating engaging in Service Learning. It can be found at servicelearning.org
They define service learning as:
Service learning combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content.
The National Commission on Service Learning defines service learning as "a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities."
Service learning is NOT:
Service learning benefits students by offering a more meaningful learning experience and opportunities to develop their social, emotional and cognitive skills. It also develops community involvement and citizenship. It benefits instructors by broadening their teaching skills and connecting with students on a more personal level and it benefits the Rochester community by offering expertise and assistance for important social development or environmental programs.
Students at Habitat for Humanity Home Builders Show - February 9, 2012
Students working on flood cleanup (above)
Students working at Habitat for Humanity (below)
Student being interviewed by an Armenian TV journalist (above)
Last Updated: May 16, 2013