Center for Community Service Learning

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Introduction

Learning can occur in many different ways. Over the last several decades, experience and research have shown that performing service can provide valuable learning experiences. As such, the California State University has taken bold steps to provide a variety of opportunities for students to contribute to California communities through community service learning.

In 1997, representatives from across CSU campuses came together to develop the CSU Strategic Plan for Community Service Learning. This plan stated a primary goal of offering service-learning and community service opportunities for each CSU student prior to graduation.

In 1998, the Office of Community Service Learning in the Chancellor's Office was created to provide leadership and coordination for CSU campuses as they develop and implement community service-learning initiatives.

In March 2000, the CSU Board of Trustees passed a resolution in support of community service and service learning, ensuring that all CSU students have opportunities to participate in service learning, community service, or both.

Whether CSU students participate in academic service learning, community service or national service, they are providing service to communities in need while learning the value and satisfaction that come from contributing to society. They are also developing a sense of civic responsibility, fostering an appreciation for diversity, and enhancing their pre-professional and academic skills.

Community Service Learning in PUC:

In 2003, PUC and CSU Fullerton were recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to establish a Center for Community Service Learning at Paññasastra University . This pioneering collaboration not only provides Paññasastra University with the necessary training to develop and implement service-learning courses at the university, but also meets community needs

On May and August 2003, PUC sent students, faculty members, and staff to United State to observe and learn the concept of service learning. After coming back from the State, PUC has established Center for Community Service Learning in order to implement this program.

We are now seeking the cooperation between communities, NGOs and agencies in order to provide the opportunity to student to develop their skill and also give them chances to understand and help their community by providing the services related to their skill.

What is Service Learning?

“At their best, service-learning experiences are reciprocally beneficial for both the community and students. For many community organizations, students augment service delivery, meet crucial human needs, and provide basic for the future citizen support. For students, community service is an opportunity to enrich and apply classroom knowledge; explore careers or majors; develop civic and cultural literacy; improve citizenship, develop occupation skills; enhance personal growth and self- image; establish job links; and foster a concern for social problems; which leads to sense of social responsibilities and commitment to public/human service.”

Mission :

The mission of the Center for Community Service-Learning at PUC is to support faculty in the utilization of service-learning pedagogy, engaging students with current community issues through service projects which enhance the learning goals of specific courses. The Center assists faculty in identifying the appropriate community agency partners and in the placement of students in appropriate community service learning activities. In addition community agencies are provided training and assistance in developing quality service-learning environments for PUC students.

Benefits of Service Learning:

  • The community partner/agency benefit in the following ways:
  • Increased hours of service received
  • Increased volunteer diversity
  • A variety of knowledge and skills are brought to the table
  • Create an on-going relationship between the community agency and the University
  • Student awareness of agency needs is raised, and spread through the university
  • Mini-grants are available for the strengthening of the university/agency partnership
  • (When funding is available)

 The students benefit in the following ways:

  • Students receive “real life experience”
  • Students can apply course content to benefit the community
  • Students develop skills to work with diverse populations
  • Students have opportunities to learn from community teachers
  • Exploration of career options
  • Students will develop a sense of community and civic responsibility

The benefits to faculty include:

  • The development of innovative approaches to instruction
  • Provides opportunities for collaboration
  • Provides opportunities for research and publication

The Benefits to the university include:

  • Furthering the PUC's mission
  • Provides opportunities for the university to be actively engaged in benefiting the
  • Community.
  • Increases campus-community collaboration and partnerships

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