Examples by Discipline
So, you've read all this, and you're thinking "That's great, but how could service tie into what I'm teaching or studying?" One of the beauties of Service Learning is the opportunity it provides to explore the many facets of service. Some projects are tangible and qualitative, while others deal with more abstract intellectual or humanitarian concepts. All of them focus on tying service into the core subject matter of the course. Here's a list of some ideas from other institutions throughout the country, covering many different fields of study.
At California Polytech, students helped low-income taxpayers with answers to their tax questions. They also volunteered at a senior citizen center to help seniors prepare their tax returns.
At Assumption College in Worcester, art students worked with local high school students to create posters advertising the Worcester AIDS walk.
At the Massachusetts College of Art, students designed and created a mural at a city recreational area. They also cleaned up a local, abandoned lot, and turned it into an art park.
At Gonzaga University in Washington, students worked with non-profit organizations to study their public relations campaigns, determine any potential obstacles or limitations, and identify solutions and means of improvement.
At Assumption College, journalism students volunteered at an agency of their choice, and wrote a feature article on a specific person at the agency.
At Bentley College, students composed marketing plans for non-profit organizations and helped them strategically promote volunteering, fund-raising, and corporate sponsorship.
At Texas A&M University, students volunteered 20 hours at an agency, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of, opportunities provided by, and threats to the organization. At the culmination of their service, they provided their findings to the organization and made a presentation to the class.
At Tufts University, students worked with the city manager, testing the environmental quality of the air.
At the University of Utah students obtained samples of Jordan River sediments and tested for lead metal content that would otherwise be collected by Salt Lake County.
At Endicott College, professor Amy Damico has taught 2 Service learning courses. As part of her Children's Television course, during the spring semester '03, students worked with YMCA after-school programs to engage young children with media learning modules
Using this same model for her Media Awareness course in the fall '04, students worked in teams in the Beverly public schools to help raise media awareness among middle-school students.
Students can help the elderly at senior citizens' centers learn to use computers, the Internet, and email.
Students can volunteer at a non-profit organization to update their software and teach others to use it.
Through the Salem District Attorney's Juvenile Diversion department, Professor Dave Parry connected with various juvenile court systems and 19 of his students spent a full day observing and assisting court workers.
At the University of Utah, students volunteered at housing assistance agencies, helping the poor, homeless, and/or unemployed obtain housing. The objective of the experience was to explore the role of economics in understanding social problems.
At Florida Gulf Coast University, economics students assisted lower income individuals and families with personal investing in mutual funds to achieve financial independence.
At Ball State University in Indiana, students volunteered at an elementary school, helping the teachers give more one-on-one instruction to children who needed closer supervision.
At American University in Washington D.C. students tutored elementary and middle school children at after school programs.
At Bentley College, students enrolled in Literature of Social Responsibility volunteered at a non-profit agency, gathering data and gaining experience to write about their responsibility to social ills.
Students can assist at adult or juvenile literacy centers
At Assumption College, students volunteered at the Audubon Society, providing tours and coordinating programs for children.
Students can volunteer with state/city departments of public health, helping conduct pollution testing.
At St. Joseph's University in Pennsylvania, students volunteered at non-profit organizations, such as health clinics, translating for the non-English speaking clients.
At the University of Pittsburgh, students volunteered at city hall and other civil service organizations, helping new immigrants communicate and become oriented with their new community.
At Portland State University in Oregon, students interviewed elderly citizens to get a first-hand account of historical events and issues throughout the 2oth century.
At North Carolina University, students studying African American History conducted a needs-assessment research project and presented the results of their research to African American Organizations in the community
At the University of Utah students volunteered at an agency, providing a specifically needed service in teams, concentrating on productivity, management, and the culture of the team to achieve the goal.
Students at Utah University volunteered with local non-profit organizations, working as business management consultants on a specific problem or task for the agency.
At the University of Richmond, Virginia students helped non-profit agencies develop and conduct a survey that improved their ability to gather and analyze data.
Students can work with at-risk high school students, teaching them about music and productive self-expression.
Students can work with the mentally handicapped, such as autistic people, who use music as a form of communication and therapy.
At Villanova University, students studying ethics worked with a religious mission serving the poor in order to see themselves as a larger part of the community and to see how their actions positively and negatively affect the world around them.
At Boston College, students volunteered at different non-profit organizations dealing with social problems. In doing so, the students contemplated the meaning of their lives and the limitations and capacities of genuine human happiness.
At Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, students volunteered with the homeless to study the relationship between social injustice and democracy.
At Providence College students worked with low-income families to strategize and help the clients utilize the welfare and public assistance programs.
At Mount Wachusett Community College, students volunteered at mental illness agencies observing and providing input on diagnostic and treatment approaches.
At Indiana University, students worked with emotionally disturbed children and adolescents, collecting data and created a report showing trends and statistics to the mental health agency.
Religion & Theology
At the University of Utah, students worked with local church youth groups, helping with theological and spiritual education.
Students can work with AIDS patients, helping them to explore the mystery of suffering and the apprehension of the unknown
Social and Human Services
Students can be paired with terminally ill individuals in a buddy program to help the ill stay in touch with the outside world.
Students can work with the blind, helping with the daily/weekly tasks that we take for granted, but are serious obstacles for the vision impaired.
At Pitzer College in California, students chose a social problem that interested them, such as AIDS, homelessness, crime, etc. and found an organization that addressed that problem. The students volunteered 30 hours of their time and conducted a project relating course concepts to the actual experience.
At Augsburg College in Minnesota, students worked with local agencies on community research projects, especially community development and urban housing.