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Summary of Campus Reports

What follows is an attempt to summarize, in general terms, the detailed information that was provided by 21 campuses to capture their efforts to institutionalize service-learning.

Barbara Holland (1997) states that "clearly, there is growing evidence that there are significant differences in institutional responses to the implementation of service-learning, and to the demands service makes on a campus organization." The summary of reports provided in the appendix illustrates Holland’s point that tremendous variation exists in each CSU campus response. The richness of this report lies in the many models and approaches provided to achieve each goal.

The three campus-specific goals were analyzed step by step to determine if each campus: (1) had accomplished the step, "accomplished"; (2) was in process of accomplishing the step, "in process"; or (3) had not yet developed processes to accomplish the step, "undeveloped." If information about the campus was unknown, the campus was labeled as "unknown," and placed in the "undeveloped" category. Tables and analysis follow.

GOAL ONE: Institutionalization of Community Service-Learning

To develop an infrastructure to support community service-learning

 

As a system, the CSU has been extremely effective in developing campus infrastructures. Below is the table representing the steps related to Goal One and the status of system progress.

Table 1: Goal One Steps

NUMBER OF CAMPUSES

 

Goal One: Steps

Accomplished Step

In process

 

Undeveloped, or unknown

Develop a service-learning contact person

21

0

0

Create and support an office of community service-learning that provides assistance to faculty and students through facilitating meaningful community-service placements and assisting in course development.

14

6

1

Integrate service-learning into mission statement and strategic plan.

17

3

1

 

 

Goal One: Steps

Accomplished Step

In process

 

Undeveloped, or unknown

Develop a campus strategic community service-learning plan, with clear goals and a time line to achieve them.

4

10

7

Develop and administer an instrument to collect data about university and community needs and resources.

6

13

2

Create an information management system (computerized and hard copy database) which allows for efficient communication exchange among university/community partners.

9

9

3

Developing a campus contact:

All twenty-one campuses included in this report have developed a service-learning contact person. This contact person serves as the critical center of a service-learning network that creates links on campus, within the community, and across the CSU. The contact person provides information and resources about service-learning opportunities, trainings, conferences, and grants. Communication throughout the CSU has become increasingly effective and efficient with the designation of contact individuals on each campus.

Developing an office of community service-learning:

Fourteen campuses have created offices that support community service-learning initiatives specifically. Six campuses are in process of creating offices, many building onto offices that support community service initiatives. It appears that community service offices alone can not provide the environment needed to fully engage faculty in service-learning. As Chico stated in its response report, "in order to get more faculty involvement, we believe a central office [for service learning, as opposed to community service solely] is key." Of the twenty-one campuses, nine have initiatives emerging from academic affairs; four campuses have initiatives out of student affairs; and eight campuses have service-learning initiatives resulting from collaborations between academic affairs and student affairs. It is extremely encouraging that a majority of service-learning initiatives are directly connected to academic affairs and the academic curriculum. As campuses look for additional resources to support service-learning programs, partnerships between academic affairs and student affairs may become more common.

Integrate service-learning with the mission:

Seventeen campuses have implicitly or explicitly included service-learning in their mission statements. Three campuses are currently discussing the incorporation of service-learning in the mission. There is one campus that has a service-learning experience as a graduation requirement, Monterey Bay. Clearly communicating the connection between service-learning and the institution’s mission is a key factor in the success of institutionalizing service-learning, (Holland, 1997). Therefore, it is necessary to focus on this step to ensure that each CSU campus explicitly connects service-learning to its mission.

Develop a campus strategic plan:

Many campuses have been guided by the CSU Strategic Plan for Community Service-Learning, and therefore, have not yet created their own strategic plan. In developing campus infrastructures, this is the weakest component. However, campuses that have not developed their own strategic plans are still on a promising course of action due to the comprehensive nature of the system strategic plan.

Assess university and community needs and resources:

As can be seen in Goal Three, each campus has developed many collaborative relationships with community agencies. These collaborations allow each partner to share its resources and receive resources for its needs. However, the collaborations are so large and spread among so many entities of an institution, that they are often disconnected from one another. It has been difficult for many campuses to develop one large picture of the needs and resources of the institution and the community to most effectively collaborate. Several campuses (6) have developed instruments to measure the needs and resources, but much work remains to be done. These assessments can prove helpful in developing comprehensive, coordinated plans for service-learning initiatives.

Develop an information management system:

Eighteen campuses have an information management system or are in the process of developing one in order to facilitate communication among partners and within the institution. A general database of community partners is the most common system used. A future goal of campuses should be to expand the information management system to track how many courses, and what types of courses, have a service-learning component, and how many students have had a service-learning experience.

Currently, fourteen campuses have service learning and/or service web sites that aid in the transmission of information, as well. Web sites have been extremely helpful in providing up-to-date information on service learning initiatives system-wide. They have served the CSU to promote current initiatives across the nation; share information across campuses; inform faculty, students and administrators about programs, conferences, funding opportunities and literature available; and link faculty together in disciplines and on campuses who share a common interest in service learning pedagogy. Additionally, CSU Los Angeles and San Francisco State have developed campus listservs for faculty interested in service learning to aid in communication. CSU San Bernardino has also developed a listserv to facilitate the planning of the Community Outreach Center. San Francisco State is also providing internet accounts and web pages to community agencies who provide community service-learning placements for students.

Clearly, there has been substantial progress toward developing infrastructures that support service-learning. The foundation created by the infrastructure developments support all initiatives to achieve goals two and three: to build faculty, student and community partner support.

 

GOAL TWO: Build Faculty Support for Community Service-Learning

To develop a critical number of faculty members willing to engage in community service-learning, aid their colleagues in developing future community service-learning courses, and to promote community service-learning on the campus.

 

While there are some exceptional successes within Goal Two, it is illustrated that this goal to build faculty support needs the greatest attention. Faculty members willing to engage in community service-learning activity need time, incentives, professional development opportunities and rewards. In order to institutionalize service-learning in the CSU, the following steps need attention, creative thought, and additional resources.

Table 2: Goal Two Steps

NUMBER OF CAMPUSES

 

Goal Two: Steps

Accomplished Step

In process

 

Undeveloped, or unknown

Provide faculty training about experiential education in general and along a continuum of integration in community service-learning specifically; provide workshops and other support arrangements for faculty interested in community service-learning.

 

17

 

3

 

1

Provide curriculum development funds to assist faculty in developing community service-learning courses.

12

2

7

Recognize faculty involvement in retention, tenure, and promotion policies. Create department-based incentives for faculty involvement.

0

8

13

Provide campus awards for outstanding faculty and student involvement in community service-learning.

0

12

9

Organize a community service-learning committee that includes strong faculty representation from all colleges.

17

4

0

Give regular reports to Academic Senate and other campus bodies to enhance awareness.

0

11

10

Provide appropriate workload credit for designing and offering community service-learning courses.

1

5

15

Provide faculty training and workshops:

Many service-learning workshops have been offered on the CSU campuses. Although workshops should be continually offered, campuses received "accomplished" status, if they had offered at least one workshop in the past. Fortunately, for campuses that have offered at least one workshop in the past, the structure is now in place to offer the needed workshops in the future.

Provide curriculum development funds:

Twelve campuses are able to offer curriculum development funds currently. However, many of the grants and programs that provide the funds are not long-term, permanent resources for the campuses. Therefore, campuses must continue to develop creative ways to bring in future funds to support faculty stipends. As referenced in the "resources and innovations" section of this report, several campuses have partnered with their faculty development centers, which can be sources of consistent funding.

Recognize faculty involvement in retention, tenure, and promotion policies, and create department-based incentives for faculty involvement:

The CSU is extremely weak in this area. Currently, there are no campuses that have successfully completed this step. However, there are eight campuses that have indicated progress and can serve as models for the system. This area should receive a great deal of attention in the coming months, with the help of campus service-learning advisory committees, the statewide Academic Senate and the Chancellor’s Office.

Provide campus awards for outstanding faculty and student involvement in community service-learning:

No campus currently provides service-learning awards for both faculty and students. However, many campuses have created awards for outstanding community service. Those campuses have been given the "in process" status, because they can utilize the structure they have developed to give community service-learning awards in the future. It should also be noted that most campuses nominate faculty and students for national community service-learning awards, such as the Tom Ehrlich Faulty Award for Service Learning, and the Ernest Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service and Academic Outreach.

Organize a community service-learning committee:

Seventeen CSU campuses have successfully established a committee on community service-learning. Four campuses are in process. Many committees are working committees, developing definitions and policies related to service-learning. Additionally, the committees often serve as the conduit of information about service-learning initiatives that are taking place in the different colleges. The committees have been good vehicles for information sharing and resource sharing. It will be the work of the community service-learning committees to push forward the little addressed issue of service-learning recognition in retention, tenure, and promotion policies, as well as department-based incentives.

 

Give regular reports to the Academic Senate and other campus bodies:

Several campuses have provided periodic reports to the Academic Senate and other campus bodies. However, the process has not been formalized on any campus. In the future, a formalized process to provide reports on service-learning could occur through a service-learning subcommittee of the Academic Senate.

Provide appropriate workload credit for designing and offering community service-learning courses:

Six campuses reported progress. San Francisco State offers faculty either a planning stipend or a .2 release to develop or implement a service-learning course. Development is extremely weak and must be addressed by campus service-learning advisory committees, the statewide Academic Senate and the Chancellor’s Office.

Support for faculty involvement in service-learning pedagogy is critical in order to move service-learning beyond a "fad" or "add-on" in higher education. This goal deserves our complete attention to ensure that the work accomplished in setting up campus offices and infrastructures is not under-utilized or wasted.

 

 

GOAL THREE: Design Student and Community-Based Programs

To develop programs that meet the needs of both the students and the community, in partnership with students and the community.

 

 

Goal Three is an intriguing mix of achievement and raw beginnings. Students and community partners are the core elements behind the "why" for service-learning. It is critical that they be involved and considered in designing service-learning opportunities. Further, proper involvement of students and community partners can result in increased resources for service-learning initiatives in general.

Table 3: Goal Three Steps

NUMBER OF CAMPUSES

 

Goal Three: Steps

Accomplished Step

In process

 

Undeveloped, or unknown

Involve students and community partners from the beginning in planning and developing community service-learning programs and policies.

10

10

1

Establish community advisory panels to gain community insights about community needs.

2

11

8

Prepare student and community agency/organization handbooks on community service-learning and other materials.

4

12

5

Develop ties with local K-14 schools for the development of community service-learning activities and programs.

21

0

0

Conduct workshops with community agencies/organizations and neighborhood groups in an effort to develop co-education partnerships.

14

2

5

Create community service-learning demonstration projects to engage faculty, student and community collaboration.

16

1

4

Develop assessment techniques to evaluate partnership outcomes and disseminate findings among members of the university and general communities.

3

12

6

 

 

Goal Three: Steps

Accomplished Step

In process

 

Undeveloped, or unknown

Work with campus student organizations to develop ways to increase faculty/student collaboration in addressing community challenges.

10

8

3

Involve students and community partners in developing service-learning programs and policies:

Most campuses (20) are successfully advancing to involve students and community partners. Campuses categorized as "in process" vary greatly in their approaches. Some campuses have formal systems to include students and community, but in reality have minimal participation; other campuses have a great deal of participation, but no formal process to ensure continuation from year to year. Other campuses have achieved formal, consistent participation of one constituency, but not the other. The goal here is both to create formal processes to involve students and community partners from the beginning in planning and developing community service-learning programs and policies, and also to have consistent, active participation of students and community partners year after year.

Many campuses have noteworthy models of student leadership in service-learning that do allow students to have input in developing service-learning programs, including Monterey Bay’s University Service Advocate (USAs) program, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Student Mentors Model, and San Francisco’s Community Involvement Center’s student leaders.

Establish community advisory panels:

CSU campuses understand that community partners have limited time and resources. Therefore, many campuses have developed ways to gain community insights about community needs in previously created structures, so as not to overburden their community partners. In some cases, campuses rely on input from faculty and administrators that sit on community agency boards. In other cases, campuses invite a small representative sample of community partners to sit on already existing advisory boards, such as the service-learning advisory committee. Finally, some campuses simply consult existing university advisory boards that already have community representatives.

Prepare student and community organization handbooks:

A majority (16) of the campuses are in process of developing, or have developed, handbooks. The handbooks help formalize processes and increase effective communication among all groups involved in a service-learning experience. Many excellent models exist in the CSU for those campuses that have not yet developed handbooks and other materials.

Develop ties with local K-14 schools:

All 21 campuses have developed extensive relationships with local K-14 schools. Historically, schools of education have provided college students with a number of opportunities to engage in active learning at K-12 school sites. America Reads, the Pre-Collegiate Academic Development program and Human Corps are examples of existing programs that created ties with local K-14 schools. However, on many campuses, the challenge is to create a structure for service-learning to operate within the menagerie of programs, collaborations, and initiatives that currently exist within K-14 settings.

Conduct workshops with community agencies to develop co-educational partnerships:

Fourteen campuses reported that they conducted workshops with community agencies/organizations to develop co-education partnerships. Additionally, two campuses, Northridge and Los Angeles, have served as hosts for community hearings on legislation that supported co-education partnerships through the development of community service-learning centers.

Create service-learning demonstration projects:

A number of campuses have used existing, visible programs to illustrate the effectiveness of student, faculty, and community collaboration, such as Upward Bound, EPIC, EOP, Pre-Collegiate Academic Development Program, and university-wide days of service (including National Make A Difference Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Days service celebrations). Other campuses have created new programs that include service-learning, such as the Fullerton First Year, and San Jose’s "Community Concepts" general education course and the "Learning Productivity Program."

Develop assessment techniques to evaluate partnership outcomes:

Fifteen CSU campuses are in process of developing, or have developed, techniques to evaluate partnership outcomes. Much is to be learned from both successful and unsuccessful partnerships, and therefore, it will be necessary to systematize evaluation in the near future.

Work with campus student organizations:

Significant work has been done with Associated Students, Inc. on a number of campuses. For instance, at San Diego State, Associated Students provided Scripps Cottage as office space for the Center and provided funds to renovate the building. Associate Students at San Diego continues to work closely with the Advisory Group. Other organizations such as Mortar Board, honors societies, and discipline-based clubs, have also been supportive.

 

Students and community partners can serve as rich resources for service-learning initiatives. Their involvement in all stages of the service-learning experience will truly enhance the experience for everyone. However, in order to effectively and systemically involve students and community partners in all processes, diligent efforts must be made to communicate. Effective communication is one of many challenges in the institutionalization process.

Content Contact:
Judy Botelho
(562) 951-4749
Technical Contact:
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