Appalachian Summit on Service Learning

The Bonner Center for Service Learning & Civic Engagement at Carson-Newman University is excited to host an Appalachian Summit on Service Learning Pedagogy & Practice on February 1, 2014.

The overarching focus of the Summit is to create tangible outcomes to assist faculty in integrating service learning into the classroom and initiating greater civic dialogue. The regional focus will broaden civic development and resilience in Appalachia. The guiding questions for the Summit are:
     1. How to coordinate a project or event across multiple courses and disciplines?
     2. How do community partners and faculty design courses and work together as co-educators?
     3. What is the most effective way to assess the value of service learning for community partners and students alike?
     4. What are student development opportunities that link service learning and civic engagement with institutional civic missions?

The Carson-Newman University community hopes Appalachian colleges and universities, interested in creating a plan to further develop their respective institution’s civic mission through service learning, will consider attending. Modeled off the High Impact Initiative of the Bonner Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, participation in the conference encourages each campus to bring a team of faculty, community partners, staff, and student leaders. However, the Summit is open to individuals as well. The Summit, with morning workshops and afternoon Open Space, is framed as a working session for the campus teams to create a project.


Summit Schedule:

8:00am - 8:30am: Registration in Ted Russell Hall, 1st floor between rooms 150 & 151

8:30 - 8:55am: Welcome in Ted Russell Hall, room 151

8:55 - 9:00: Break, Go to Session 1

9:00 - 10:15: Session 1

10:15 - 10:30: Break, Go to Session 2

10:30 - 11:45: Session 2

11:45 - 1:00pm Break, Plenary over lunch (meal provided) in Stokely Cafeteria

1:00 - 3:45pm Open Space

3:45 - 4:00 Break

4:00 - 5:00: Teams Report Next Steps, Reflection, Everyone Completes an Evaluation

5:00: Attendees Depart Carson-Newman


Session 1 Workshops:

Development of mobile learning applications: Coordinating faculty and students in ITS & Biology departments at two Penn State campuses (Rm 205)
Students are used to obtaining material and information from mobile devices or online. Lecture courses may be more successful if they include interactive course material in a mobile format. Elinor Madigan and Darcy Medica of Penn State Shuylkill developed a mobile application as a supplement to teach nutritional concepts that are usually taught in lecture format in BiSc004 “Human Body.” Their project is an interdisciplinary one, incorporating Biology and Information Sciences and Technology (ITS) faculty and students at two Penn State campuses.

Education and service: Crossing borders and boundaries (Rm 207)
Dr. Elissa Graff of Lincoln Memorial University and Jessica Evans of Carson-Newman University will discuss the successful three-year course collaboration that combined art, culture, and biology culminating in field experiences in Belize and southern Africa. These interdisciplinary courses promoted environmental and cultural awareness while fostering civic engagement and service-learning. Student learning and development will be shared as well as suggestions for others desiring to create travel components that combine multidisciplinary teaching efforts and service-learning components.

Redesigning an existing or creating a new course with service-learning as foundational pedagogy (Rm 209)
With a logic model for building service-learning courses as a framework, Barbara Gottlieb of Brookside Community Health Center and Suzanne Cashman of UMass Medical School will review the key components of service-learning pedagogy needed for modifying an existing or developing a new course. Using a case scenario, participants will identify and discuss strategies for implementing a service-learning course. Our focus will be on articulating partnership roles, responsibilities, and communication strategies as well as on drafting course objectives, specifically those related to learning, service, and service-learning.


Session 2 Workshops:

“It’s like making a sandwich” (Rm 205)
Marcy Hehnley, Cindy Andrews, Rashonda Welch, and Leigh Keever of Chattahoochee Technical College will discuss how faculty in English, Reading, Sociology, Psychology, and Criminal Justice came together to build course specific service-learning projects as a way to educate the public on the issue of child sexual abuse and exploitation. The service-learning projects included faculty on several Chattahoochee Technical College campuses which then culminated in an educational seminar that was open to the community. Chattahoochee Technical College is located in Georgia with eight campuses and over 12, 000 students.

Exploring the shallow and the deep in the land of the blue waters: Sustaining the vital team Estonoa/Ferrum College partnership for fifteen years (Rm 207)
Terry Vencil of Team Estonoa and Susan Mead of Ferrum College’s Appalachian Cluster will discuss their 15-year experiential learning partnership through which college English, Sociology, and Environmental Science students interact with high school students sustaining their community wetlands. Participants will examine personal, leadership, and professional skills built through the “shallow” and “deep” connections made between these high school and college students, and how other faculty, administrators, and members of the surrounding communities have benefited.

Principles of community/academic partnerships for service-learning (Rm 209)
Service-learning can contribute to building communities, strengthening civic engagement in higher education and preparing students to address 21st century challenges. Strong and principled community-campus partnerships provide the foundation for effective service-learning courses. Asset-based community development and principles of partnership promulgated by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health provide framework for operationalizing and evaluating community-academic partnerships. In this workshop, Barbara Gottleib of Brookside Community Health Center and Suzanne Cashman of UMass Medical School will explore these tools as they apply to developing service-learning courses/curricula, and sustainable community-campus partnerships.

Fruitful connections for enhancing Spring Break in Appalachia experiences (Rm 216)
Patricia O’Connor of Georgetown University leads a panel which draws on community partners, student leaders for Spring Break in Appalachia, our Outdoor Education Program and our Center for Social Justice to demonstrate how we are finding fruitful connections across academic and student life units to enhance SBIA experiences. This panel will focus on the need for coordination about the pre-planning, study, on-site processing, and post-trip reflection that can enrich the experiences of all involved.


Plenary over the lunch hour:

Tiffany Dumas is the Volunteer Coordinator at the Interactive Resource Center (IRC), a daytime center for people experiencing homelessness, and Kathleen Edwards is a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). They have been collaborating on various projects for over four years. Recently their work has included co-teaching a service-learning class that engages IRC guests and UNCG students in deep conversations and projects related to topics of power, privilege, oppression, and resistance. Additionally they often think about the progression of their partnership and its impact on their own learning: Tiffany helps Kathleen appreciate the importance of being in the moment, comfortable with the healthy chaos of a thriving non-profit; and Kathleen helps Tiffany assert her role as an educator for/with the numerous service-learning students spending time at the IRC each semester.

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