Service Learning gives back to community

Mayumi M. Kimura
City Times

San Diego City College has made history. SDCC’s Service Learning Program is taking its first steps toward building a relationship with its community partners.

Although, students’ community involvement and service at SDCC goes back many years, the Service Learning Program was officially formalized Fall Semester 2007. The program now includes 22 faculty members and over 400 students. “Incorporating and sustaining service learning as part of any curriculum requires considerable time and effort,” said Faculty Service Learning Coordinator, Francisco Moreno, also a sociology professor here at SDCC. “It is an honor to be a part of such a premier movement.”

So what is the Service Learning Program?

“Generally, service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service within instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civil responsibility, and strengthen communities,” said Moreno.

Simply speaking, the Service Learning Program is one that leads students to volunteer in their community with the guidance of the service learning faculty. “This service learning project can greatly impact, as well as improve, our societies. By volunteering for less fortunate causes, we will all be able to gain from these experiences. The only way to improve our societies is if we learn from each other,” said SDCC student, Mitchellie Lim.

“This program was extremely beneficial and gave me insights that I can use to improve how I interact with handicapped individuals in the future. It was a very positive experience,” said SDCC student, John Arnold, of his experience assisting in a special education class.

Since becoming a formally recognized organization, the program has begun reaching out to agencies in the community for an even larger impact. March 7 marked the first community partners training for agencies that wanted to partner with City College on Service Learning projects.

SDCC hosted the event to discuss the purpose of each community partner and its future goals for the program.

“Service learning helps both the community and the student. Agencies are helped when students volunteer to fill many needed positions that help the agencies meet their goals. Students are helped by learning how to apply what they learn in a classroom, and utilizing that knowledge in a way that is useful, and beneficial to a cause that they believe in,” said SDCC student, Adam Conn.

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Service Learning gives back to community