Oglethorpe Service-Learning courses
At Oglethorpe, such courses are usually 4-credit courses, in which the service itself takes the role of a text or assignment but is not itself graded. Outcomes of the service will be graded, however, perhaps in the form of a research project, reflective journal, and/or report/presentation that speaks to the work and needs of the community organization.
What is Service-Learning?
Oglethorpe has a co-curricular program for individual and group volunteer opportunities, but service-learning is distinguished as a type of experiential learning that integrates academic learning with community involvement. Service-learning is a way of accomplishing a rigorous academic curriculum in combination with serving real community needs. These are courses which have volunteer work integrated as part of the course itself. Thus the service is closely related to the content of the course.
Service-learning is not just about the students involved, however. It is a reciprocal relationship of respect and communication in which both sides – students and community partners – work together to advance their common and individual goals.
Oglethorpe students participated in a Service-Learning trip to
Moscow, Russia over Spring Break 2011. As students took courses and
learned more about the Russian culture, they also painted and
revamped the inside of a Russian Orphanage.
Service-Learning courses at Oglethorpe
In 2007, Oglethorpe University faculty working in collaboration with the Center for Civic Engagement created service learning courses. Service Learning Courses require a minimum of 25 hours of course related community service and have included:
- Cancer Cell Biology (Schmeichel)
- Foundations of American Education (Anastasi)
- General Biology II (Baube and Donnelly)
- Introduction to Education (Anastasi)
- Managerial Accounting (Vornholt)
- The Nonprofit Sector (Guhde)
- Social Problems (Pruitt)
- Special Topics in History: Judaism: Foundations and Mysticism (Smith)
- Special Topics in History: Russia’s Social Crisis (OUSA Travel Abroad) (Bobroff)
- Special Topics in Language, Literature and Culture: French and Spanish Crossroads (Chandler and Lutz)
- Special Topics in Politics: Atlanta Mini-mester in Politics, Leadership, and Community Service (King Momon and Nash)
- Urban Ecology (Donnelly)
Community Groups linked with Service-Learning courses
Service-Learning Courses: What is involved?
- Typical academic structure
- Learning goals and outcomes
- Class contact, readings, examinations, and writing assignments that when combined with the service itself combine to the typical workload of a standard OU 4-credit course
- A minimum of 25 hours of volunteer work per student with a nonprofit organization meeting a community need
- Reflective activities that might include any of the following
- Group discussions
Why should I offer a service-learning course?
- Engage with your students in a new fashion
- Utilize a new pedagogical technique to communicate ideas and achieve learning goals
- Assist with student retention
- Help Oglethorpe fulfill its mission to Make a Difference by greater involvement with its community
- Offer students coursework with tangible relevancy
Why should I take a service-learning course?
- Help organizations that are serving a community need
- Hone academic skills while helping solve real community problems
- Serve your community while earning academic credit
- Gain work and leadership experience possibly translatable to
employment before and after graduation
Service-Learning Resources: Learn more!
- Feel free to contact the professors of the courses above for more information about specific courses.
- Consult the course schedule for the upcoming semester for a list of SL courses.
- Dedicated Staff:
- Ms. Tamara S. Nash
- Dr. Karen Schmeichel
- Ms. Heather Staniszewski ’02