Welcome and thank you for your interest in c-nvolved!

In January, 2011, a committee comprised of administration, faculty, staff and students began the process of developing its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). The plan, now called “c-nvolved” is a campus-wide program designed to integrate undergraduate students’ service experiences into the academic setting. From this site you can learn more about c-nvolved and about service-learning and its benefits. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions about service-learning.

Service-Learning is a natural choice for our QEP in light of Carson-Newman’s mission: to help our students reach their full potential as educated citizens and worldwide servant leaders by integrating academic excellence and Christian commitment with a caring community. Additionally, c-nvolved, will fulfill a goal stated in our 2009 Strategic Plan to “create a service-learning program that provides opportunities for service” (“Future of the Past,” C-N Strategic Plan 2009).

There are two goals for c-nvolved, the first addresses impact on campus and the second addresses student learning.

  • By the end of the five year plan, our goal is that 70% of students who graduate from Carson-Newman with an undergraduate degree will have had a developmental service-learning experience within their academic discipline.
  • Among the students participating in the standardized service-learning program, our goal is that 80% of those students will show improvement in identified student learning outcomes.

We will assess two student learning outcomes in each service-learning course:

  • Students will connect knowledge from an academic discipline to their service-learning experience.
  • Students will identify the assumptions and attitudes they bring to Service-Learning.

Professors will use common assessment tools and will use assessment data to adjust the service-learning activities. The c-nvolved Committee will use the assessment data to determine progress toward the goals.

Carson-Newman will implement c-nvolved gradually over the course of four years with LA101 course sections introduced in year one, 200-/300-level courses in years two and three and 400-level courses in year four. By the fifth year of the plan, there will be a regular pattern of faculty development, student participation, assessment, and necessary adjustments as a result of ongoing assessment.

Carson-Newman has a long history of service to the local community and to the world. The QEP is an attempt to relate that service to what students are learning in the classroom and to assess that learning by a standardized set of measures. Carson-Newman’s QEP is an attempt to enhance the learning and cultural development of our students.

What are the benefits of Service-Learning?

Students who participate in service-learning courses will:

  • Apply academic, personal and social skills to community needs.
  • Grow in their understanding of themselves, of others and of their civic responsibilities.
  • Develop leadership abilities based on real-life problem-solving.
  • Develop critical thinking skills through reflection activities designed by the instructor.

Service-learning is a pedagogy that connects the academic curriculum with the concerns students have for their community and their world. The results produce lifelong lessons for the students and foster better communities for us all. From a faculty perspective, service-learning is a researched-based method where guided or classroom learning is applied through actions that address real community needs and allows the student to reflect on the experience.

Students who participate in service-learning courses will:

  • apply academic, personal and social skills to community needs.
  • grow in their understanding of themselves, of others and of their civic responsibilities.
  • develop leadership abilities based on real-life problem-solving.
  • develop critical thinking skills through reflection activities designed by the instructor.

Yes. Service-learning is different because the education of the student is always the central factor. Students actively reflect on their classroom learning as well as their community activity. Academic questions are applied to real-life situations.

There is no one way to do service-learning. A common classification of “service” in service- learning includes direct service, indirect service, advocacy, and research.

  • Direct service involves face-to-face interaction of students within the community. Such service includes working directly with persons or organizations in the chosen community in order to help solve problems. Students engaged in direct service learn to care for others who are different in age, life experiences and background.
  • Indirect service benefits a community without actual contact by the students. Examples can include collecting clothing and toys for children, books for a school or developing goals and action plans for local businesses. Through indirect service students learn specific skills which are reinforced through real world application.
  • Advocacy is the development of awareness of a public issue or problem and the promotion of action to alleviate the problem. A key difference with other forms of service-learning is that advocacy understands service in terms of social justice. In advocacy service-learning students may write letters, attend and lead public meetings and speak for those who have no voice.
  • Research service-learning involves students designing research, gathering data and reporting findings regarding public issues. Students may conduct surveys and interviews to study issues the community has identified as important. In addition, students may study water quality, traffic patterns and other issues that relate to public safety.

Each type of service-learning has benefits for both student and community. Service- learning of any type can engage the student’s imagination and curiosity. Community issues often require all types for solutions. It is important that all types of service-learning be used in order to develop civically engaged students.