Home > Headline News > Students experience learning beyond the classroom

Students experience learning beyond the classroom

September 26, 2010

By Brittney Bennett, Staff Writer

Since the beginning of the school year, various students have noticed that one or more of their courses includes a Service Learning Component, or SLC, which means students will be working in real-life settings with their professors and different community programs to ensure a practical, full understanding and use of the respective subject.

This program is one of Young Harris College’s endeavors to further the Liberal Arts experience and to promote the growth of the well-rounded student.  It is part of the experiential learning movement called academic service learning.

The idea behind having certain classes paired with an SLC is to ensure students’ engagement and ability to make practical real-world use of the curriculum learned.

Students are not the only ones who benefit from the SLC. Professors who incorporate the program are able to help students develop deeper critical thinking skills, provide the basis for furthering personal social responsibility and offer a view of how different studies are interrelated.

“Along with SLC’s complimenting its respective curriculum, the program helps to meet a specified need within the surrounding community,” said the Director of Academic Service Learning and Bonner Leaders program Rob Campbell. “For instance, the general chemistry course with Dr. Song will be working with the Hiawassee River Watershed Coalition, which will allow students to test and analyze the water quality of the nearby Corn Creek.”

For the fall semester, YHC offered five SLC incorporated courses which included: Going to Extremes (Ruth Looper, English), Interpersonal Communication (Jennifer Hallett, Communication studies), General Chemistry I (Amanda Song, Chemistry), Introduction to Sociology (Jennifer Pemberton, Sociology), and Dying & Death (Joy Goldsmith, Communication studies).

The proposed SLC incorporated classes for spring 2011 are Spanish Conversation (Diana Santiago, Spanish), Yoga III ( Ki Curtis, Physical Education), and Theory and Practice of Service Learning (Rob Campbell). Other courses for spring are still being considered.

For those students who are not currently enrolled in a class paired with an SLC, Campbell is  outlining several co-curricular service learning trips.

In October, Campbell, Niki Fjeldal, director of orientation and first year experience, and Tim Moore, director of religious life, have planned a trip to Charleston, S.C., to do community service in the impoverished areas of the city, broadening students’ perspectives on poverty.

The location correlates with YHC’s ‘Ship of Thought’ program for incoming freshman, where students read Scratch Beginnings by Adam Shepard.

This locale not only incorporates the ‘Ship of Thought’ but, allows those involved to gain a better sense of the effect of a poor economy.

Also, learning and working in real-life settings helps implement positive ideas of social responsibilities. Other trips and co-curricular SLC activities are pending and will be instated as the academic year progresses.

Categories: Headline News Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: