CSU Service Learning Goes Abroad
While the CSU continues to significantly increase community
service-learning opportunities for its students locally,
some CSU campuses have begun to broaden their focus
to include international opportunities.One campus leading
this effort and utilizing its service-learning expertise
is CSU Fullerton (CSUF). CSUF has partnered with Pannasastra
University in Cambodia to develop a service-learning
center at the international university, with the support
of a grant from U.S. Agency for International Development.
In the fall, several Pannasastra University students,
faculty, and staff visited CSU campuses to learn about
successful strategies for designing a program. In November,
Jeannie Kim-Han, CSUF's service-learning director, traveled
to Cambodia to introduce and discuss the concept of
service learning with faculty, students and non-governmental
organizations. This visit laid the groundwork for various
institutes that will be offered this month at Pannasastra
University by CSU service-learning practitioners.
Other CSU campuses are focusing on opportunities for
students to engage in international service learning.
Francisco State University students, for example,
traveled to South Africa for a month-long visit. The
students took part in community service projects and
attended classes at a local university as they learned
about South Africa's history, political environment
and social issues.
If you have an interest or expertise in international
service learning and would like to participate in a
learning circle, contact Amra
Stafford at Sonoma State University or Jeannie
Kim-Han at CSU Fullerton. Both service-learning
directors are interested in building a strong network
around this topic.
CSU Northridge (CSUN) was awarded $45,000
from Project SHINE
(Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders).
The goal of Project SHINE is to help elderly immigrants
and refugees learn English and civics skills in order
to help them navigate the complicated process of U.S.
CSUN service-learning students enrolled in gerontology
and foreign language courses will tutor elders in group
or one-on-one settings at community centers. Dr. Debra
Sheets, CSUN faculty member and coordinator of Project
SHINE said, “SHINE adds new dimensions to student
learning while providing a valuable service to one of
our community’s most under-served populations.”
Three other CSU campuses have previously received Project