Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement

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Students

photo of students sorting donations"I really enjoyed working with the Ellis Human Development Institute as a service-learning requirement for Strategic Planning. The experience allowed me to apply classroom theory to the outside world and showed me the kinds of administrative conflicts that I may need to resolve in the future. Overall, the experience was positive, and I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in a real world problem, rather than a scripted classroom exercise." — Lisa Brown, Public Administration                                                                                                      

What is Service-Learning?

As a student involved in service-learning courses you will:

  • Gain hands-on experience while meeting community needs
  • Grow your understanding of diverse cultures and communities while gaining civic responsibility
  • Acquire team building experience
  • Reflect upon the learning

Wright State University students enrolled in a service-learning course will engage in meaningful community service, paired with instruction and reflection, to enhance the learning process. Service-learning may involve a few hours a week in some type of project or direct service at a partner site, or your class may learn from, and then produce something of value for a community partner-such as community-based research, a grant proposal, a strategic plan, or an environmental study.


 

What Does a Service-Learning Course at Wright State University Look Like?

Service-learning courses at Wright State integrate community members and organizations into classroom projects and courses. Service-learning courses typically require at least 20 hours of community service.  Components of Wright State service-learning courses include the following:

  • Links classroom learning to real life experience and employment;
  • Provides you with a greater understanding of a social issue;
  • Engages you in service with nonprofits, educational organizations, nature preserves, hospitals, public agencies, retirement centers, food banks, and other sites.
  • Provides an opportunity for you to reflect on your learning experiences in the field as these connect to both personal growth and course learning outcomes.

For example, students in an Environmental Chemistry class may make several visits to collect water samples in a nature preserve, analyze the water quality in the lab, and report their findings to the partner agency.  Students in Women's Studies may intern with agencies addressing employment equity, workforce development, family violence, and/or sexual assault. Students in the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program are required to take a Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation course. This course incorporates a service-learning component in which students facilitate and create strategic plans for organizations they are assigned to. Students lead meetings with the organization, create strategies, and identify problem areas. Service-learning students work out of the classroom and engage with the staff, volunteers, and sometimes students or clients at their assigned organizations.

Why Enroll in a Service-Learning Course?

Students enrolled in a service-learning course can benefit academically, professionally, and personally.  Participation in a service-learning course will:

  • Increase understanding of classroom topics by bringing theory to practice;
  • Enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills;
  • Promote cultural competency;
  • Provide opportunities to develop skills related to your professional goals and personal life;
  • Contribute to the civic well-being of local and global communities;
  • Benefit from experience, networks and guidance for future careers.

Courses and Programs

Interested in taking a Service-Learning course or enrolling in a program? Visit the Courses tab for a full list of 2014-2015 Service-Learning courses and the Programs tab for descriptions on each course.

Forms


Internships

Internships are a great way to gain practical experience outside of the classroom.  Below are several types of internships with which you may get involved:

Service-Learning Opportunities

Checkout our Facebook  for internship announcements and opportunities! 

"Students in WMS 4980 are encouraged to work with the Women's Studies Internships Coordinator to create an internship experience that advances their academic and career goals while also filling a need at a community agency, organization, nonprofit, or grassroots network." — Amber Vlasnik, Director of the Women's Center

Paid Internship Opportunities

Contact our office directly to inquire about these opportunities!  service-learning@wright.edu

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to help the community and get involved. For a list of volunteer opportunities contact Michele Tyler at michele.tyler@wright.edu or checkout our facebook page.


Stay Connected

Don't miss out on any opportunities! Stay connected to service-learning opportunities and events through our Facebook page and Engage. Be sure to check for new courses and events on the SLCE Facebook page and watch your email and WINGS announcements for news.

Faculty

"Service-learning courses enable students to advance the missions of Wright State by engaging them in meaningful community service, with the aim of producing civic-minded students who feel invested in the Dayton community.  They seek to integrate classroom learning with opportunities for personal and civic growth outside the classroom, while meeting the needs of the Dayton community."

— Sean Pollock (Professor of three intensive service-learning honors sections of The West and The World Since 1500:  HST 1200.  Students in these sections helped Thurgood Marshall High School students prepare to compete in National History Day competitions.)

Resources provided by SLCE:

  • Individual consultation to faculty developing Service-Learning courses;
  • Identify and develop partnerships with local nonprofits, schools, and public agencies;
  • Evaluation of sites and opportunities for rich Service-Learning experiences;
  • Course objectives alignment with service-learning projects;
  • In-class student orientation;
  • Reflective assignments to help students process their learning from the service experience;
  • Assessment of Service-Learning assignments and courses;

Why teach a Service-Learning Course?

  •  Improve teaching, provide service to a community partner;
  • Publish results from service-learning projects;
  • Inform students how course learning can be applied and help students develop civic andsocial knowledge and skills.

Interested in Teaching a Course?

Interested in teaching a service-learning course?  

  • Contact Jack Dustin, Ph.D. for a one-on-one meeting.  He may be reached at jack.dustin@wright.edu or 775-2471.

Advice from Faculty

"A clear service-learning goal and selection of an appropriate service-learning partner are key.  After selection, continued discussion with the partner is essential to be sure that community and class objectives are both met." — Hunt Brown, Special Assistant to Executive Vice President and Senior Lecturer Emerit

Service-Learning Librarian

Service-Learning Librarian is a blog written by Maureen Barry, First Year Experience Librarian at Wright State University. On the blog, Barry and guest contributors explore the role of information in service-learning courses, the ties between information literacy and service-learning, and the role that academic libraries can play in community engagement.

Visit the Service-Learning Librarians website.


Stay Connected

Be sure to keep up with the latest news and events at the SLCE.  Like us on Facebook and login to Engage to view opportunities on and off campus.

Community Partners

"Wright State University students who volunteer to complete service-learning hours at St. Vincent de Paul assist with a variety of things.  Some of the positions that are assigned include:  assisting at the front desks of our facilities, working as dorm assistants, and serving meals to our guests.  We can always count on Wright State students to show a high level of professionalism and dedication while volunteering.  Without volunteers like this, the St. Vincent de Paul organization would be unable to consistently accomplish our mission to provide emergency shelter services to the homeless men, women and children in Montgomery County." — Carmel Scott-Emuakpor, Manager of Volunteers, St. Vincent de Paul

What is a Community Partner?

Wright State University's SCLE partners with nonprofits, schools, hospitals, and public agencies in the Dayton Region to provide learning opportunities to Wright State service-learning students.

Why Partner with SLCE?

  • Opportunity to work with students and faculty
  • Increase public awareness of crucial issues
  • Gain fresh prospectives from students 
  • Recruit more hands for your programs and initiatives 
  • Meet potential future employees

Become a Wright State SLCE Partner

If you are interested in becoming a service-learning partner, we want to hear from you.  Please contact Michele Tyler at, michele.tyler@wright.edu or (937) 775-4262.

Stay Connected

Want to see what Wright State service-learning students, faculty, staff and partners are doing, reading, and thinking about?  Check out our Facebook page!

Testimonials

 

Service-learning experiences promote and enhance the development of students, faculty and community partners. Below are prospectives from individuals that have lead service based trips, volunteered in service to the community, and provided volunteer opportunities for students. Their inspiring words will illustrate the limitless benefits of service-learning.

Student Testimonials

"I really enjoyed working with the Ellis Human Development Institute as a service-learning requirement for Strategic Planning. The experience allowed me to apply classroom theory to the outside world and showed me the kinds of administrative conflicts that I may need to resolve in the future. Overall, the experience was positive, and I thoroughly enjoyed being involved in a real world problem, rather than a scripted classroom exercise."

— Lisa Brown, Public Administration

"Service-Learning was a new concept for me when I started at Wright State. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect but I jumped right in and was eager to learn. Throughout my time in service-learning classes I have become a person I am proud of. I have learned to give back, to make human connections, and have realized the importance of teamwork. It has been life changing in many ways and I am so thankful for all the professors, directors, and community members that have pushed me to be a better person. I'm not sure how many other students can say that Wright State's goal of changing lives has impacted them, but I can personally say that Wright State has given me a new, more positive, outlook on life!"

— Katie McGrath, Sociology/Youth and Community Engagement/Engaged Citizenship Studies Certificate

"My service-learning class, URS 3640, was instructed by Dr. Agiro. Her class was so much fun. We were placed at various locations throughout the city of Dayton. I was placed at Thurgood Marshall High School and spent a little time at the Wesley Center. I absolutely loved this class--not only did I get to see and experience the things that I was learning about, but I was able to help be the change and empower the students. The biggest lesson I learned was that you learn from the students just as much as they learn from you. Always be yourself--that's when you get the most out of it. I will be volunteering in Mr. Siroku's high school class next school year."

— Ashley Bass, Liberal Studies

"My service-learning experience with Wright State has opened my eyes to all of the opportunities that Dayton has to offer. It has showed me my potential, as well as fueled my passion for community service. I love how engaged this program allows us to be with people--and the instructors share our passion as well. It makes things a lot easier when the people who are teaching you are just as excited as you are. I have built so many relationships with the school teachers, community leaders and administration--it amazes me! I encourage everyone to take at least one service-learning class, it will change your life!"

— Allante' Booker, Psychology

"During my very first term at Wright State, my UVC class participated in a service-learning project. We went downtown to the Central Business District and completed a beautification project. I enjoyed the activity so much that I incorporated a service-learning porject when I worked with First Year Programs to instruct a UVC class. I had my students participate in Make a Difference Day. We were onsite at Westwood Elementary School and we removed trash, raked leaves and planted flowers for spring. The students liked being active in the community, and the whole experience brought our class closer together. Service-Learning is a great way to engage students in the community and allow them to apply their skills toward the greater good."

— Melissa McCarthy, Public Administration/International and Comparative Politics

Faculty Testimonials

"Many students find the service-learning component of the course initially challenging, but ultimately unusually rewarding. Service-learning courses enable students to advance the missions of Wright State by engageing them in meaninful community service, with the aim of producing civic-minded students who feel invested in the Dayton community. They seek to integrate classroom learning with opportunities for personal and civic growth outside the classroom, while meeting the needs of the Dayton community."

— Sean Pollock (Professor of three intensive service-learning honors sections of The West and The World Since 1500: HST 1200. Students in these sections helped Thurgood Marshall High School students prepare to compete in National History Day competitions.)

"Adding a service-learning component makes the course more relevant. Students can see how the principles discussed in class play out in the real world. Students also get the satisfaction of working on important community issues. Service-learning courses engage students in ways that classroom experiences alone cannot. I have taken students to post-Katrina New Orleans and to Appalachian Ohio with a colleague. These experiences have expanded the understanding to students and faculty alike of the challenges many of our fellow citizens face and the difference that service-learning work can make."

— Hunt Brown (Senior Lecturer for the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences. Brown also takes students to Appalachia each summer. Visit Summer Abroad Opportunities for more information.)

"Students taking Environmental Chemistry perform environmental monitoring of a local nature preserve. The results for water quality and sediment contamination are presented to the partner agency and to the public in the form of posters that can be downloaded from the WSU library website."

— Audrey McGowin (Associate Professor of Chemistry)

Community Partner Testimonials

"Wright State University students who volunteer to complete service-learning hours at St. Vincent de Paul assist with a variety of things. Some of the positions that are assigned include: assisting at the front desks of our facilities, working as dorm assistants, and serving meals to our guests. We can always count on Wright State students to show a high level of professionalism and dedication while volunteering. Without volunteers like this, the St. Vincent de Paul organization would be unable to consistently accomplish our mission to provide emergency shelter services to the homeless men, women and children in Montgomery County."

— Carmel Scott-Emuakpor, Manager of Volunteers, St. Vincent de Paul

"Service-Learning is an attempt to make learning meaningful, connected and productive for the student, adult and community. Wright State University has collaborated with D.P.S. in recent years to refine this process and we look forward to enhancing our service-learning partnership."

— David Lawrence, Chief of School Innovation, Dayton Public Schools

"As an Enchanted Forest volunteer, you are growing future conservationalists that will help protect habitat and the creatures that live there. Enchanted Forest volunteer Trail Guides lead visitors through luminary lit woods to meet larger than life animals that share their life stories in an entertaining and educational way. From this interaction, kids and adults learn about the critters that live in Ohio, why they are important to ecosystems and how to help and protect them, helping Aullwood's environmental education mission. You'll also have a lot of fun volunteering at this event and you'll receive a comlimentary dinner."

— Nina Lapitan, Volunteer Coordinator, Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm

Volunteering

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." — Mahatma Gandhi

Get Involved

Looking to volunteer and make an impact in your community? Engage is a useful tool helping to connect your interests with an organization in the community.

Students

Faculty