Service-Learning & Civic Engagement

Annual Report

Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Annual Report, 2005-2006

Earl F. Mulderink III
Faculty Coordinator of Civic Engagement
September 4, 2006

As a signal of growing institutional support for service-learning across campus, SUU named a new “Faculty Coordinator of Civic Engagement” in Fall 2005 with the expectation of a three-year commitment. In assuming this responsibility, I was fortunate to receive a one-quarter release from teaching and an overall budget of $5,000 for “civic engagement” efforts. In addition, the Student Success Center, overseen by Patrick Clarke, provided clerical support and temporary office space. The Faculty Service-Learning Committee enjoyed faculty representation from every college and school, and other members included student representative Jolene Kremin, Pam Branin, the Campus Service Director, and Neal Cox, the Associate Vice President for Student Services.

The committee began to meet on monthly basis beginning in November 2005. Our meeting agendas and minutes for 2005-2006 can be found at a temporary homepage: http://suu.edu/faculty/mulderink/Civic%20Engagement/suu_civic_engagement_homepage.htm. Separately, I have maintained an “archive” of relevant materials and records. On the whole, our committee made progress in institutionalizing and publicizing service-learning endeavors during the 2005-2006 academic year, as suggested by the following highlights.

State of Engagement Project, Sponsored by Utah Campus Compact

  • 100 faculty responded to the online Faculty Engagement Survey.
  • About fifty courses are offered with a service-learning component.
  • About 20% of SUU’s students have been connected to a service-learning course.
  • Community partners and students were also surveyed through this state-wide project.

Service-Learning Scholar Program

  • Thanks to the leadership of student Jo Kremin, SUU has developed one of the state’s most rigorous programs for designating “Service-Learning Scholars.” For details, see http://suu.edu/stil/pdf/studentpacket.pdf.
  • Three students (one in Business and two in Nursing) completed all requirements and submitted portfolios to complete the program in Spring 2006.
  • As many as a dozen other students are “in the pipeline” to graduate with distinction as a Service-Learning Scholar.

Development of Library and Other Resources

  • Pam Branin continues to maintain a library of service-learning books and resources.
  • Earl Mulderink distributed copies of the Service-Learning Toolkit to all members of the Service-Learning Committee, urging that these materials be shared widely.
  • Steve Barney and Earl Mulderink presented a “LunchBytes” workshop about service-learning attended by 30 faculty members on January 19, 2006.

Participation in Utah Campus Compact Events

  • Earl Mulderink, Pam Branin, and others attended the Second Annual Dialogue on Democracy, November 17, 2005, in Salt Lake City.
  • Earl Mulderink attended the UCC-sponsored Student Leaders Retreat on January 6-7, 2006, near Provo, as did other members of the UCC’s Faculty Consulting Corps
  • Ten faculty and staff from SUU participated in the Second Annual Engaged Scholar Institute at Moab, UT, in February 2006.
  • President Bennion and others attended the Utah Campus Compact Annual Recognition and Awards Event held on April 4, 2006, in Salt Lake City. SUU’s award recipients (approved by members of the Service-Learning Committee) were Dr. Cynthia Wright, Engaged Faculty Member; Jo Kremin, Outstanding Student Humanitarian; and Carol Bolsover, Director of Iron County Care and Share, Outstanding Community Partner.
  • Linda Dunn, Executive Director of the Utah Campus Compact, visited campus in mid-May 2006 to share preliminary findings of the State of Engagement Project. Attendees included Abe Harraf, Neal Cox, both the incoming and outgoing SUUSA presidents, Pam Branin, and Earl Mulderink.
  • Earl Mulderink, Abe Harraf, and Cindy Wright attended a State of Engagement Workshop and Forum in Salt Lake City on May 23, 2006, at which recommendations were made to the USHE Council of Presidents.

Public Relations/News

  • Pam Branin and Earl Mulderink were interviewed by Dean O’Driscoll and Renee Ballenger for “That Thursday Thing,” a local radio show, on December 29, 2005.
  • “Service-learning program emerges at SUU,” written by Renee Ballenger, was published in The Spectrum, January 18, 2006.
  • SUU In View, The Magazine of Southern Utah University, featured an article by Renee Ballenger, “Service-Learning: The Methodical Phenomenon in Higher Education – Emerging Strongly at SUU” (Fall 2006: 14-15).

Ongoing Efforts

  • Developing a web site.
  • Revising LRT policies to address service-learning pedagogy and research.
  • Building funding sources from both on and off campus.
  • Institutionalizing faculty development, training, and rewards.
  • Implementing curricular review for designation of “service-learning” courses.