Institutionalizing Service Learning and
Civic Engagement
Paul Sather, Director, Service Learning Academy
Deborah Smith-Howell, Associate Vice Chancellor & Dean
www.unomaha.edu/servicelearning
UNO’S MISSION
As Nebraska’s metropolitan University,
UNO is characterized by its strong
academic foundations and creative
community relationships that transform
and improve the lives of constituents, the
region, and the nation.
UNO’S THREE STRATEGIC GOALS
Goal 1—UNO will be recognized as a studentcentered metropolitan university
Goal 2—UNO will be recognized for its academic
excellence as a leading metropolitan university
Goal 3—UNO will be recognized for its
outstanding engagement with the urban,
regional, national, and global communities
INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT
• Mission and Vision
• Defining UNO as a “Metropolitan University”
• Carnegie Elective Classification
•
•
2006--Initial group with designation
Both curricular AND Outreach & Partnerships
WHY ?
Need for institutional identity
Building on traditions and culture yet creating a
vision and opportunities for the future
HOW?
• Beginning in 1997, campus focus on strategic
planning
• Key faculty in Social Work, English, and then
working with the Center for Faculty
Development saw opportunities
HISTORY OF SERVICE LEARNING AT UNO
• Seven courses offered in 98-99; over 150 in
2011-2012.
• 133 students participating in 98-99; 1700 in
11-12.
• Value-added to the community since 98-99,
over $7.8 million.
• Service-learning courses offered in all six
academic colleges and the graduate college.
THE FACULTY ROLE
A study of 45 colleges and universities (Bell et al., 2000) found that the
strongest predictor for institutionalizing service-learning on college
campuses is faculty involvement in and support for service-learning.
Why is faculty involvement so important?
•
to ensure course quality
•
to sustain work over a period of years
•
to win administrative support
•
to open the door to other kinds of
institutional engagement (e.g., recruitment, research)
UNO SERVICE LEARNING ACADEMY:
ROLE AND ACTIVITIES
Established Fall 2005 as independent office with
full-time director
Provide Faculty and Community Partners Support
K-12 Partnerships
Recipient of local, state, and national grants &
contracts
PROJECTS AND INITIATIVES
• Interdisciplinary Days of Service
• Faculty Seminars (North, South, K-12, )
• Civic Participation Projects
•
•
•
•
Debate Watch
Deliberative Polling
Culture Walks
Newspapers in Curriculum
BENEFITS OF SERVICE LEARNING:
UNO
• Visible enactment of institutional mission as
metropolitan university;
• Public commitment to the community;
• Regional and national recognition;
• Enhanced student satisfaction; and
• Enhanced student learning.
SUCCESSES
• UNO is nationally recognized for its engagement efforts:
•
“Community Engagement Classification” by the Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching (2006)
•
President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll - with distinction
(2009)
•
UNO’s Service Learning Program recognized as an “Academic Program to
Look For” among 42 programs nationally by U.S. News and World Report
•
“Honorable Mention,” Washington Center’s Higher Education Civic
Engagement Award
•
Top 25 “Best Neighbor” colleges and universities among 125 institutions who
participated “Saviors of Our Cities: A Survey of Best College and University
Civic Partnerships”
12
NEXT STEPS
• Scholarship of Engagement Initiative
• Student Service-Volunteer-Leadership
Coordination and Programming
• IARSLCE Annual Conference, Omaha, 2013
• CUMU (Coalition of Urban & Metropolitan
Universities) Annual Conference 2015
UNO Community Engagement Center
Groundbreaking October 24, 2012
14
For more information
Paul Sather
[email protected]
Deborah Smith-Howell
[email protected]
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Institutionalizing Service-Learning and Civic Engagement