Real world learning

Students can obtain credit while helping their community

By Quinn Storm, News Editor

Becoming an active member in one’s community includes participating in serving and volunteering. At Schoolcraft, the Service Learning program combines both learning and volunteer work for the benefit of academic courses, credited students and the community surrounding Schoolcraft. Service Learning is a part of the curriculum for specific classes, taught by specific teachers.

“Locate Service Learning courses when registering, or ask your professor if they’d sponsor an Individual Service Option in their regular course. It is fun and educational, serves others, and builds your resume all at the same time,” said Karen Schaumann, Associate Professor of Sociology and Service Learning Coordinator at Schoolcraft College.

This program promotes turning learning into real world experiences as well as creates a sense of responsibility for students by teaching knowledge, growth and skills that may be transferable to life outside of the classroom. Schoolcraft is part of the Michigan Campus Compact, which is a statewide association that promotes the education and commitment of college students to be civically engaged citizens. Thirty other colleges in Michigan belong to the organization to promote education and commitment of Michigan students to be active community members. Students that have taken a minimum of 15 credit hours of classes designated as Academic Service Learning Courses are eligible to receive a Service Learning Endorsement, something that students may find helpful when applying to four-year universities or in applying to jobs.

“Service learning is the bridge between merely volunteering your time for the sake of it, which is great, however you get the chance to apply what you learned in classes to the community in a way that allows students to build better connections, retain what they learned even more, and finally prove to employers they have hands-on experience in addition to their classroom education,” said Nate Brown, Schoolcraft business administration major and Service Learning intern to Schaumann.

The Schoolcraft Service Learning program partners with five local organizations: Bugs, Frogs & Water, Plymouth Community Arts Council, Business and Professional Women International, Realty Store and Red Wagon.

Bugs, Frogs & Water is a nonprofit organization, which promotes keeping the Rouge River clean. The Plymouth Community Arts Council provides fine and performing arts to Wayne County. The Business and Professional Women International gives a voice to workingwomen. The Reality Store is a finance simulator that goes to middle schools in the fall and winter semesters to run online store booths. Lastly, the Red Wagon provides literary resources and influences for academically at risk children.

“I think service learning is important because it gives students opportunities to learn more about the communities that surround us. This is my first semester being an intern so I haven’t gotten too much into it yet, but I have been enjoying it thus far. I love working at the tables for School Daze because I can tell other students about the program and how much it can help them in the future,” said science major and previous Service Learning student Katy Robinson.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the program, please see the video at https://youtu.be/PJd27XnhPfw and email servicelearning@schoolcraft.edu.

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(Image from istockphoto.com)