Service Learning Benefits All Involved
SF State exceptional community involvement earns it a spot in a new book featuring colleges with a conscience
August 18, 2005 8:38 PM
SF State is once again being recognized for its community involvement by being profiled in a new book, “Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement."
SF State was chosen out of 900 universities across the nation to be profiled in the new book from the Princeton Review, due to the university’s involvement in community service learning (CSL) courses.
The Community Service Learning Program is a program of the San Francisco Urban Institute and began at SF State in 1997. Students in CSL-eligible classes can elect to earn extra units by completing a minimum of 20 hours of outside volunteer and community service duties.
During the 2004-2005 school year, 7,043 SF State students took part in the programs, according to Emilie Bromet-Bauer, the program director for the Office of Community Service learning. This semester there are 46 different departments that offer CSL courses, with approximately 73 different courses to choose from Bromet-Bauer said.
“There are a lot of advantages for a student in a community service learning course that they might not get in a regular course,” said Bromet-Bauer. “We provide the course grades, units, and hours of service (on transcripts), that’s really important when you are applying for grad school or applying for a job.
“Some jobs ask for transcripts and they will see that you have experience in the field.”
“Sometimes you learn something in a course, but it’s important to apply it to real life and get some practical hands-on experience,” Bromet-Bauer said. “At the same time, (students) are helping the community.
“They are making a difference.”
Dance major Jennifer Phoenix, 29, participated in a dance-oriented CSL course last fall, teaching dance and coordinating dance recitals for underprivileged youth in Visitacion Valley. She is taking the same course again this year, but this time she will be setting up the curriculum for the youth class.
“It’s a huge joy,” Phoenix said. “But it’s definitely not an easy process.
“It takes work, it takes effort.”
“It’s the real world,” said dance and music Professor Albirda Rose. “People getting degrees need to know what the real world is, and this is it.”
Rose coordinated the Visitacion Valley dance program, and received an award last year from the Office of Community Service Learning for her efforts.
“I like being able to watch the growth and the shock of the students leaving (SF State) and going into communities they’ve never been to and realizing the world is much larger than them.”
A list of departments that offer community service courses, as well as a brief description of the courses, can be found at www.sfsu.edu/~ocsl/ descrip
. The last day to add a class is Friday, September 9.
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