Service-Learning & Civic Engagement

Annual Report

Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Annual Report, 2006-2007

Earl F. Mulderink III
Faculty Coordinator of Civic Engagement
June 13, 2007

Thanks mainly to the efforts of Provost Abe Harraf, our “civic engagement” budget tripled this year to $15,000.  As before, our budget fell under the authority of Patrick Clarke of the Student Success Center and was ably administered by Debra Pool, the SSC’s Office Manager.  Our committee met monthly beginning in September and can claim a number of accomplishments during the academic year as highlighted below.  Meeting minutes and more detailed information can be found at our web site.

Committee Members

  • Earl Mulderink (HSS), Chair
  • Denise Woodbury (BUS)
  • Blair McDonald (CIET)
  • Briget Eastep (EDU)
  • Steve Barney (HSS)
  • Larry Johnson (PVA)
  • Mark Grover (SCI)
  • Karl Stevens (SCPS)
  • Matt Nickerson (Honors Program and Library)
  • Pam Branin (S&L Center)
  • Neal Cox (Student Services)
  • Jason Clyde (Student Representative)

New Web Site
Thanks to assistance from Jill Whitaker, our new Service-Learning and Civic Engagement web site became operational in Fall Semester and is located at http://suu.edu/servelearn/.  The web site includes SUU’s conception of “service-learning,” information about the Faculty Service-Learning Committee, links to national service-learning resources, details about programs for student scholars and faculty fellows, materials about community partners, teaching resources with relevant syllabi, and information about becoming an “engaged campus.”

New Service-Learning Fellows Program
With excellent work in establishing an application process and selection criteria by committee members Steve Barney, Briget Eastep, and Denise Woodbury, we developed and publicized a new campus-wide program for rewarding instructors who use service-learning.  As stated in the online application, “the purpose of this award is to recognize engaged educators who practice service-learning in an effective manner.”  We received a dozen high-quality applications and named five (5) Service-Learning Fellows at the annual Student-Faculty Scholarship Recognition Event on April 24, 2007.  Each Fellow received an honorarium of $750 and a handsome commemorative plaque.  The 2007 Service-Learning Fellows were:  Professors Jeff Barnes and Robin Boneck (Accounting, BUS; they split the cash award); Dr. Steve Barney (Psychology, HSS); Dr. Heath Earl (Psychology, HSS); Dr. David Lund (Elementary Education, EDU); Dr. Cynthia Wright (Agriculture & Nutrition Science, SCI).  All together, we expended over $4,000 on a program to improve the visibility and integration of service-learning at SUU while creating a dynamic group of service-learning practitioners, mentors, and experts.

Integration of Service-Learning Component into First Year Seminar (FYS, UNIV 1000)
Thanks to Jill Wilks of the Student Success Center, the First Year Seminar (UNIV 1000), required of all new freshman students, will actively incorporate service-learning and service in Fall 2007.  Our committee met with Jill and discussed a number of options, some centered on “mega-projects” linked to the annual “Make a Difference Day” in late October.  We plan to offer resources, training, and support to all FYS instructors and students who wish to implement service-learning in their courses.  Our goal is to make the service-learning component a valuable and meaningful experience for students, our campus, and the larger community.

Professional Development & Conference Participation
In addition to funding the Fellows program, we allocated funds for conference participation at the 2007 Engaged Scholar Institute in Moab, Utah; the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association 2007 Annual Meeting; and Utah Campus Compact-related meetings in Salt Lake City, including the annual Recognition Event at the Capitol on April 3, 2007.  Two other significant development opportunities were funded in this fiscal year.  Earl Mulderink, Faculty Coordinator of Civic Engagement, participated in the 2007 National CASTL Leadership Forum and Institute, June 6-9, in Chicago.  Sponsored the by Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL), this workshop will connect SUU with colleagues across the country.  Pam Branin, Coordinator of Service-Learning, will attend the 2007 Professional Development Institute for Community Service and Service-Learning Professionals, July 23-27, in San Diego.  Sponsored by the national Campus Compact, the California Campus Compact, and the University of San Diego, this intensive week-long workshop is one of the premier professional development programs in the nation.  Finally, we expended funds to host a state-wide gathering and retreat for the Utah Campus Compact’s Executive Director, Campus Service Directors, and Service-Learning Coordinators.  Nearly thirty faculty and staff from Utah’s higher education institutions will visit SUU for three days, June 25-27, 2007.

Ongoing Efforts and Priorities for 2007-2008

  • Develop a strategic plan for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement efforts.
  • Create an advisory board to better connect campus and community.
  • Investigate ways to become a more “engaged campus,” possibly by pursuing the elective Carnegie classification of “Community Engagement.”
  • Strengthen LRT policies to address service-learning pedagogy and research.
  • Implement curricular review for designation of “service-learning” courses.
  • Secure and improve funding for all relevant programs, faculty, and staff.