Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, September 15, 2010, 12 Noon
Service & Learning Center
185 S. 300 West

I. Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 12:05 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Lacie Jo Robinson (S&L Center), Karl Stevens (SCPS), Cindy Wright (SCI). Excused: Boyd Fife (CIET), McKenzie Coombs (Student).

II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes were approved for the meeting of April 14, 2010.

III. Reports
A. Chair’s Report
Earl Mulderink welcomed committee members, asked them to confirm contact information, and briefly discussed the status of a student representative on the committee. Next, Earl offered updates from the Utah Campus Compact, including plans for Social Justice training, October 14-16, 2010, and the UCC Annual Conference and Recognition Event February, 10-12, 2011 (earlier than in past years). To assist with public relations, the SL&CE web site, and social media, J. J. Embleton has been hired as a work-study student assistant for an average of 8-10 hours per week. Earl showed evidence of continuing publicity about service and service-learning and urged committee members to keep up the great work in seeking recognition. For examples, Pam’s detailed weekly listserve is quite helpful and reaches a large audience. In presenting “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” Earl discussed his service-learning adventure in Kenya, participation in the “Diving Deep Institute” in California, and efforts in submitting an application to become a Carnegie “community engaged” institution. He acknowledged the help of several committee members in forging a strong application. SUU should be notified about the Carnegie classification around January 1, 2011.

B. Pam Branin, Coordinator of the Service & Learning Center
Pam Branin mentioned that several students will join her in Social Justice training sponsored by the UCC at Snowbird. The alternative break programs will open to registration on September 20 through an new online format. Students are expected to pay $480 ($80 non-refundable) for the week-long experience in Mexico or with Habitat for Humanity in the United States. Pam reported that SUU is still hoping to hire a Vista volunteer to assist with community partners. SUU is considering several software options that will allow us to better track and document service and service-learning activities. “Service Saturday” was a great success for the third year in a row, as more than 1,500 students in 45 groups engaged at 25 sites. Pam stated that the Service Learning Community has started in the university residence halls. Next, Pam offered details about the 5K Run on September 26 organized by students to benefit the Service & Learning Center, and several committee members discussed ways to promote the event. Finally, Pam mentioned that she has about two dozen service leaders working with the S&L Center along with forty or more in the service corps.

IV. New Business
A. Experiential Education Requirement (EER): “Civic Engagement” Track

As a member of the university’s EER committee, Earl shared handouts and information about the “evolving shell” and expectations. He opened discussion about credit vs. non-credit experiential learning; options besides service and service-learning; and the inclusion of different pedagogies (e.g., Community-Based Research (CBR), Community-Engaged Scholarship (CES), and/or Community-Based Learning (CBL)). In talking about the roles and responsibilities of the “Civic Engagement Center,” Earl stated that this committee is the key advisory board and will be asked to participate in further discussions about the EER program. Within this context, committee members concurred on the need to shore up our service-learning foundation before widening efforts toward other types of community-engaged teaching and learning.

B. Service-Learning Curriculum Options

With a goal of expanding the number and variety of service-learning classes on campus, Earl distributed several handouts and suggestions. Earl plans to offer open workshops for interested faculty and asked committee members to help spread the word. He also wondered about adding new classes to the books, such as variable credit lower-level options (e.g., UNIV 1120 or HSS 2120); variable credit upper-level options (e.g., SCI 4120); “Social Concerns Seminars” (e.g., Notre Dame classes); and a one-credit “Service-Learning Scholar Seminar” (e.g., UGS 3025 at University of Utah). He will follow up with interested committee members with the hope of expediting the curricular review process. We discussed the potential problems of course numbering and the absence of a university Registrar at this time. One comment was that SUU’s Leave, Rank, and Tenure policies need changes to better support service-learning course development.

VI. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.