Service Learning and Civic Engagement
This is a two semester course. 50% of the course grade will be determined from service participation as documented by timesheets The remaining 50% will be derived from research assignments, the course journal and online reflection assignments. Students are required to complete at least 45 hours of service work, documented by the course time sheet, signed by the site supervisor. There is no upper limit on possible service hours. Inability to meet this requirement should be discussed with the instructor.
SLS2941 is a Service Learning course. Service-learning is a method of teaching, learning and reflecting that integrates community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and encourage lifelong civic engagement. It is a form of experiential learning – learning by doing.
Reflection is an integral component of Service Learning experiences. It is a critical thinking technique where you evaluate what has transpired rather than simply recording it. There are essentially three levels at which reflection may occur: [FIU Service Learning coordinator Mark Cooper at http://www2.fiu.edu/~time4chg/Library/reflect.html]
The Mirror (A clear reflection of the Self)
Who am I? What are my values? What have I learned about myself through this experience? Do I have more/less understanding or empathy than I did before volunteering? In what ways, if any, has your sense of self, your values, your sense of “community,” your willingness to serve others, and your self-confidence/self-esteem been impacted or altered through this experience? Have your motivations for volunteering changed? In what ways? How has this experience challenged stereotypes or prejudices you have/had? Any realizations, insights, or especially strong lessons learned or half-glimpsed? Will these experiences change the way you act or think in the future?
The Microscope (Makes the small experience large)
What happened? Describe your experience. What would you change about this situation if you were in charge? What have you learned about this agency, these people, or the community? Was there a moment of failure, success, indecision, doubt, humor, frustration, happiness, sadness? Do you feel your actions had any impact? What more needs to be done? Does this experience compliment or contrast with what you’re learning in class? How? Has learning through experience taught you more, less, or the same as a traditional class? In what ways?
The Binoculars (Makes what appears distant, appear closer)
From your service experience, are you able to identify any underlying or overarching issues which influence the problem? What could be done to change the situation? How will these experiences alter your future behaviors/attitudes/and career? How is the issue/agency you’re serving impacted by what is going on in the larger political/social sphere? What does the future hold for the agency and for the community it serves?
DuPuis Management Area:
We will be doing our service at the DuPuis Management area of the South Florida Water Management District [SFWM]. The area is a 21,875 acre property covering parts of Northwestern Palm Beach and Southwestern Martin counties. The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) owns the property that contains acres of pine flatwoods and cypress swamp and was purchased in 1986 through the Save Our Rivers program. During this course, we will visit the DuPuis area four times, participating in a variety of observation and data collection activities. You will receive instruction on environmental education, environmental management and ecologic data collection techniques and will apply what you have learned. In the end, during semester two, you and your fellow students will provide both and oral and written summaries of what you have found during your studies.
Please access and review the following items to prepare yourself for our activities: “Pine Flatwoods,” http://www.sfrc.ufl.edu/4h/Ecosystems/Flatwoods/flatwoods.html;
“Saw-palmetto: an Ecologically and Economically Important Native Palm,” George Tanner, J. Jeffrey Mullahey, and David Maehr, http://wfrec.ufl.edu/range/sawpalm/; “Land Stewardship Program Overview (Save Our Rivers), ” http://mytest.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/pg_grp_sfwmd_landresources/pg_sfwmd_landresources_saveourrivers; “Forest Management: State Forest in Florida,” http://www.fl-dof.com/state_forests/index.html
Assignments for semester one:
Journals – throughout the course of this class, you will maintain a journal/diary of your activities, the data you collect, the methods you employ, the references you find, and your reflections. All assignments below should be in the Journal first – then copy them for discussion postings or to turn in. These need to be kept current – I will know if you made one up at the last minute. When I collect each of the assignments below, I will want to see your journal with the original of the work in it. Detailed directions as to keeping the journal are attached – note that part of your journal grade derives from following directions.
Web research – Find 7 references on the web in addition to the ones I have provided, that give significant information regarding the DuPuis Management area and /or the ecosystems found there, and/or problems occurring in this and similar preserves, and/or previous projects undertaken at this preserve, and/or general conservation related issues facing the Florida voting constituency. Remember you will be putting together presentations on this and will need both introductory and conclusion types of material. Note that this is an IRSC course and your are expected to follow IRSC adopted citation practices – see http://www.irsc.edu/portal/layout_web1.aspx?PortalPageID=681
Date/Topics and Activities – Semester 1
Aug. 20/Meet with Dr. Megaw to discuss course requirements.
Aug. 27/Orientation. Meet with Ms Kantor about Dupuis project.
Sep. 3/Orientation. Submit a beginning bibliography of web sources.
Sep. 10/Submit summaries of specified resources
Sep. 17/Submit reflections online discussing what the term “Legacy” means in the conservation, context, in the context of civic responsibility, and in the context of your own personal future.
Sep. 24/First visit to DuPuis preserve
Oct. 1/ Work on own & with partners on data/logs, etc. Submit reflections online on day 1 experiences.
Oct. 8/Work on own & with partners on data/logs, etc.
Oct. 15 /Meet to discuss log books, data, etc. and to collaborate.
Oct. 22/Submit answers to first set of prompts.
Oct. 29 /Research on own on second part of project. Find 3 or more additional references online.
Nov. 5/Continue research on own on second part of project
Nov. 12/Meet with Ms Kantor about part 2 of Dupuis project.
Nov. 19/Second day at DuPuis reserve.
Nov. 26/Work on own & with partners on data/logs, etc. Submit reflections online on day 2 experiences.
Dec. 3/Meet to discuss log books and data
Dec. 10/Completed journals and timesheets due
Date/Topics and Activities – Semester 2
Jan. 21/Meet with Ms Kantor about DuPuis visit 3.
Jan. 28/Third DuPuis visit
Feb. 4/Data analysis and reflection from visit 3.
Feb .9/Preparation & rehearsal for presentation to College Board of Trustees
Feb. 16/Preparation & rehearsal for presentation to College Board of Trustees
Feb. 22/Presentation to College Board of Trustees.
Mar. 11/ Meet with Ms Kantor about DuPuis visit 4.
Mar. 18/Fourth DuPuis visit
Apr. 8/Meet to discuss log books, data, etc. and to collaborate on final presentation to our Research Partners.
Apr. 15 /Meet to discuss log books, data, etc. and to collaborate on final presentation to our Research Partners.
Apr. 22/Final, formal presentation of our research results to the South Florida Water Management District Board and the Management group for the DuPuis Reserve
Apr. 29/Journals due for final grading.
SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT DESCRIPTION
Student e-mail address:
Course Number and Title:
Organization: FAU/CES/SFWMD DuPuis Management Area_____________________
Site Supervisor or Coordinator:
Course service-learning purpose and objectives:
The purpose of this course is to teach democratic principles of civic engagement and service in the venue of planned service-learning activities. Students will engage in supervised career-exploration and discipline-related activities in the community service setting. Seminar and reflection activites will be employed to assess experiences and to examine how organizations within the community address the problems, issues and concerns of the community.
Course Objectives: At the completion of this course, students will be able to reflect a personal understanding of the behaviors required of responsible citizenship; understand the mission[s] of various community service organizations; recognize the problems that are encountered in communities as a whole, and how they are addressed through government and community service organizations; apply concepts and skills learned in discipline specific areas to real-world problems.
Community Partner mission:
Purpose of the project:
Specific tasks involved in the project:
Student evaluation procedure [criteria, evaluator(s)]:
Student: I agree to:
- Perform my respected duties to the best of my ability.
- Adhere to organizational rules and procedures, including record-keeping requirements and confidentiality of organization and client information.
- Model professional, ethical and appropriate behavior, and meet confidentiality requirements of the organization with which I am working..
- Meet time and duty commitments or if I can not attend, to provide 24 hours notice so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Supervisor: I agree to:
- Provide adequate information and training for the service-learner including information about the organization’s mission, clientele and operational procedures.
- Provide appropriate supervision to the service-learner and provide feedback on performance.
- Provide meaningful tasks related to skills, interests, and available time.
- Provide appreciation and recognition of the service-learner’s contribution.
Faculty Supervisor Signature:
SERVICE LEARNING PROGRAM STUDENT TIME SHEET
CourseNumber and Title:
Primary responsibilities at your service placement:
Description of Activities:
SERVICE LEARNING JOURNALS
1. Your journals must be bound books – no loose-leaf or spiral notebooks.
2. Put your name and the course on the outside label.
3. The first page of your journal should have the following information: Your name, the course name and number, Indian River State College, semester and year.
4. Leave 2 pages for the Table of Contents (keep it updated).
5. Number all subsequent pages in ink in the upper outside corner.
6. Never remove pages from the journal!!!
7. All entries must be in ink.
8. DO NOT ERASE or WHITE-OUT! If you make a mistake (you will, we all do), cross out the mistake with a single line.
9. Enter the date for every separate entry in the left-hand margin adjacent to the beginning of the entry.
10. The journal should contain all assignments, including research, required responses to prompts from the instructor, your regularly entered personal observations and responses to your site experiences, any methods you employ during the course of your investigations and work, and any questions, ideas, etc. that come about as a result of your experiences.
11. Enter information in the journal regularly – preferably the same day as your site activities. Don’t leave blank spaces or pages. The journal should reflect your observations as to your work, what you have learned, and questions that you have thought of.
12. Write down details like what was said in a particular situation, [can paraphrase], the context of an event or quote and your response [both what you contributed and what you thought]..
13. Label all entries, with headings and other descriptors so that you will know what they mean when you read them later.
14. When an assignment is due, your instructor will initial the journal on the page containing the assignment.
15. The journals will be turned in at the end of the semester, and will constitute the basis of 50% of your final grade. Grading will be as follows: 10% for adhering to directions; 30% for site activity notes; 40% for responses to prompts and other assignments; 20% for the final synthesis [closing report].
to be entered in the Service Learning Journal
1. What is the Mission Statement for the organization for which you are providing service?
2. Who are the administrators of the organization [give names and titles]?
3. What activities has this organization engaged in or provided for the community during the past six months [lists, with approximate dates are fine].
4. What are the sources of funding for this organization – try to be as specific as possible – i.e. grants, legislature [bills], and so on.
5. What are the biggest problems that confront the organization in staying afloat and doing what it does?
6. What, specifically, are you working on? What is the purpose or reason for this work? What do you think of the work?
7. What needs do you see with the organization? Suggest at least one activity or project that you think would benefit the organization.
8. Why is REAL civic engagement important to the community? Why is it important to you and your family and friends?
9. What types of careers are related to the activities you have observed within the organization?
10. What training would you recommend and what would be required for someone who wanted to work in this [these] areas?
Professor: Dr. Judy Megaw
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