Reprinted from the ‘Jacket Journal
Academic Service-Learning Students at UW-Superior make an impact
According to the UW-Superior ‘Jacket Journal, AS-L students donated 21,718 hours in our community in the last year resulting in a donated amount of $473,018 into our local economy.
When it comes to connecting with the community the Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) program continues to find innovative ways to showcase University of Wisconsin-Superior students, faculty and staff and the many talents they have to offer.
This fall semester alone the AS-L program had 664 student experiences in the community and offers over 70 Academic Service-Learning courses throughout the school year.
Overall, in the 2013-14 academic year 21,718 hours were donated to the local community by 1,266 UW-Superior students. Their involvement in the community can be found in a wide variety of areas such as– small businesses, non-profits, schools and other government offices that resulted in a donated amount of $473,018 into the local economy from AS-L volunteer time.
AS-L is an academic experience where students apply course concepts to real life situations through community engagement, in order to expand academic achievement, gain career skills, and cultivate life-long learning.
Recently one of the highlights of that commitment to community came in the form of pirates, wooden ships and the open sea.
Dr. Kenna Bolton Holz had over 40 students in the PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology class hold two pirate-themed events to feature demonstrations of basic psychological concepts for children at Lake Superior Elementary and Bryant Elementary in Superior. Staff at each school assisted as did the PTA/PTO organizations as well. The 90 minute programs had UW-Superior students preparing and building interactive stations that taught basic psychological concepts about the brain and memory through a pirate theme program. UW-Superior student designed original games, crafts, books and take-home activity packets that were all about pirates and the brain/memory.
“Captain” Katelyn Baumann is the Academic Service-Learning specialist at UW-Superior and was thrilled with how the latest experience was received. “This year’s events were a great success, we had over 70 children at one program!”
Bauman was proud of how the pirate programs with the local elementary schools turned out. “Academic Service-Learning is about building connections between our campus and the community. This unique partnership connects psychology students with children at elementary schools and allows the UW-Superior students to creatively teach children about basic psychology concepts through fun and engaging activities about pirates.”
The activity had age appropriate psychology material for the youngsters. The goal was to create and build a sense of community, increase parent participation and inspire children’s imagination through interactive learning/crafts/activities.
Academic Service-Learners gain indispensable knowledge and skills through placements like this. The experience and skills looks great on a resume or professional portfolio, which can help in future career searches or graduate school applications. A benefit of being a student at UW-Superior: Academic Service-Learning both enhances student learning and fulfills community needs by putting classroom concepts into action.
Some of the other AS-L programs this fall included:
- Geology exhibits created by UW-Superior students to be featured at Fossil Night at the Duluth Children’s Museum. Dr. Kristin Riker-Coleman had over a dozen students for that event.
- Star Wars paintings by UW-Superior students that were displayed at the Superior Public Library for a Halloween event. Dr. Kathy Hubbard had over 20 students for that program. They also asked the community to bring a non-perishable food item for the local food shelf when they attended that display.
- Dr. “Haji” Dokhanchi had a two day exposition featuring refugee lives, weapons of war and humanitarian law. Each class partnered with the Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross. There were multiple exhibits and it was open to the campus and the community.
Academic Service-Learning (AS-L) is a credit bearing, educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline and an enhanced sense of civic responsibility. The AS-L initiative aims to make UW-Superior a regional leader in academic service-learning, thus providing a distinctively public quality to UW-Superior’s liberal arts mission. To learn more about how you can connect with AS-L call (715) 394-8518 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the 2010-2012 Academic Service-Learning program:
- 42 professors were involved
- 2,130 student experiences
- 50 community partners
- 26 disciplines
- 37,375 donated hours