Counseling 80X.SKS – 1 unit
Special Topics in Counseling – Service Learning & Oral History
Sankofa Scholars Program
Phone #:
Office Location:
Day(s), Time & Location:
Robert Alexander
(408) 864-8616
Student & Community Services Bldg (SCS) – Room 254
Wednesdays, 12:30 – 1:20pm
ECOT - 1
Purpose of Course: Counseling 80X aims to provide Sankofa Scholars with relevant and
meaningful opportunities to work and give back to the community. Although, serving the
community is one component of service learning the goal is to enhance student academic
learning in the course and directly and intentionally prepare students for active civic
participation in a diverse democratic society.
Learning Community Agreements:
Because full participation, open communications, and ongoing reflection are crucial
components to adult professional learning, the following agreements are established to
support the work of this class. These agreements are meant to facilitate, not hinder, your
participation and willingness to share your learning and support your peers in their
learning and professional growth, as well:
1. Speak Your Truth – You are encouraged to voice your perspectives and support
others in doing the same; resist the temptation to speak for others; speak from
your experience, your world view, your understanding of the course; understand
that most often with topics in education there is no single “right answer,” but you
have your truth to offer, which may differ from many others in the class.
2. Respect Interdependence – Your learning depends on others’ engagement and
participation, and your engagement and participation contributes to everyone’s
learning; respect starting times, assignment due dates, and course processes; be
fully present—deeply listen to others; cell phones and other such devices turned
off. (If you are facing an emergency situation requiring that you leave your cell
phone on, it must be on “vibrate,” and we appreciate your letting folks know
before class discussions begin that an urgent call may require that you step out
Community Action:
So say the community I want to focus on is American Society and the
issue is racism (I could also be more specific and focus on issues of racism
in the black community, or Latino Community, or Asian community, etc.).
I do a lot of research on the topic of “racism in America” and get some
great information. In the end, I choose to argue (the research paper is an
argument essay based on a problem/solution structure) that “one of the
largest factors of racism is ignorance of other cultures and engrained
Based on this idea, I can devise possible solutions, and I chose to do an
action that attempts to change our ignorance of other cultures and our
engrained stereotypes by challenging the common stereotypes of people of
different races. There are a million different things that I could do to
challenge the common stereotypes of people of different races, but I
choose to write and illustrate a short children’s story that educate and
challenge the common stereotypes by presenting positive images, ideas
and stories of children and families from different racial and ethnic
Final Assignment:
This final has three basic parts: A community action or service (Part I), a
research paper which is essentially an argument essay based on a
problem/solution structure (Part II), and a public presentation of all of this
(community, action, research).
The idea is that instead of just sitting around writing about doing things, you
actually physically go out and "do" something. You might want to think of this
like a research paper that includes a "service learning project," or a "service
learning project" that includes a research paper. Either way, the point is that you
actually have to do something in addition to the research paper (and then finally
present what you did in a class presentation).
First, you need to think of a community that you connect to and a need/issue that
exists in that community. You then need to think of a solution and something you
can do to enable that solution (you do not have to do the entire solution, but you
need to at least do an action that works towards the solution).
Your physical research paper will be a “problem-solution” essay, in which you
explore the problem you are addressing, the solution you are proposing and then
the work you actually did (your physical “action”) to help bring about that
solution. So, after you have your community, your proposed solution and what
you will actually do to bring about that solution, then you need to do the research.
You will research the community, the problem and possible solutions and how
to get involved (your action).
June 20th, each Sankofa Scholar will give a 4 – 5 minute PowerPoint or Prezi
presentation on their service learning experience. Your class presentation should
be a VISUAL presentation that tells the class about the community you chose, the
problem that exists and what you did to address the problem and help bring about
the solution. Understand that this presentation should be a visual documentation
of your action, not just a presentation of your information. The presentation is
SHOWING us what you did. Let’s say you hold a food drive for a homeless
shelter. Instead of simply making a PowerPoint that gives info about the
homeless situation (boring), you should present pictures or a video or something
of the actual food drive or of you dropping the food or the shelter or a videoed
interview at the shelter or something. This is visual documentation of your
action, not just a PowerPoint presentation of the same info that you put in your
essay. This part is really less about the research and more about “seeing” you in
(1). Attend class regularly and active participation. (25%)
(2). 2 Critical Reflection Paper.
(3). Service learning and presentation.