Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Registrar’s Conference Room, 12 Noon

I. Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 12:05 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Lacie Jo Robinson (Student), Karl Stevens (SCPS), and Cindy Wright (SCI). Excused: Steve Barney (HSS), Scott Hansen (CIET), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Matt Nickerson (Honors and Library). Guest: Elise Leahy (Hispanic Center for Academic Excellence)

II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the meeting of March 25, 2009, were approved without changes.

III. Reports

A. Chair’s Report

Earl Mulderink discussed the recent online “Faculty Engagement Survey” sponsored by Western Region Campus Compact Consortium. Forty faculty from SUU responded to the survey, a lower number than anticipated or desired, but still sufficient for us to receive a detailed summary of responses when available. Next, Earl spoke about the UCC statewide recognition event in Salt Lake City on April 7, 2009, and shared the program with committee members. Third, Earl reported on the annual Faculty-Student Scholarship Day & Recognition Event on April 22 that included public recognition of our three Service-Learning Fellows and five Service-Learning Scholars. Our civic engagement budget provided funding in support of these two events, along with another $300 granted to Pam Branin for her annual “Thank You Event” on April 21.

B. Other Reports

Pam Branin discussed plans for the Service & Learning Center to move off campus with renovations to be donated by a construction firm and one year’s operating costs underwritten by SUUSA. The chief benefit of the move will be added storage and meeting space.

IV. New Business

A. Elise Leahy, Director, Hispanic Center for Excellence

Elise Leahy outlined service and service-learning components of her programs that include Spanish-speaking student tutors who provide two to three hours of service each week. She also discussed efforts to create a Foreign Language Learning Community in a residence hall that could incorporate a service-learning component, particularly for senior “mentors.” In response to Elise’s query about the best way to offer service-learning incentives, several suggestions were made, including the use of AmeriCorps scholarships.

B. Curricular Issues and Course Proposals

  1. PSY 3230, Adult Development & Aging, David Shwalb
    The committee suggested that this course proposal be revised and resubmitted. Several concerns surfaced in the committee’s discussions. While the committee is reluctant to impose a minimum level of hours or weighting for a service-learning component, the consensus was that PSY 3230 could benefit from heftier requirements, more potential community partners, and a reconsideration of the survey process.
  2. UNIV 1020, Strategies for Success, Keri Mecham and Jake Johnson
    The committee suggested that this course proposal be revised and resubmitted. The main concern was the lack of specificity about service-learning in the proposed syllabus. While applauding the instructors’ emphasis on leadership and service, the committee encouraged a more detailed list of community partners and to be more explicit about service-learning.

C. Other

Earl invited a general discussion of ongoing plans and next year’s agenda. For one, we need to work on developing an upper-level service-learning course that complements the 2120 course. He mentioned specifically CSU Monterey Bay as a potential model. Also, several committee members discussed the benefits of repeatable and variable credits for general service-learning classes.

Briget Eastep initiated a discussion about internships and service-learning. She suggested that internships seem tied to professional development under a supervisor while service-learning must include reflection and service components.

Lisa Assante spoke about her successful service-learning activities and shared a copy of the final “Cook Book” prepared by students in support of the Canyon Creek Women’s Crisis Center.

V. Adjournment

Prior to adjourning the meeting at 1:05, Earl thanked committee members for their service and wished them an enjoyable summer.