All participants must complete approximately 3 hours of community service a week.
Requirements of Service Learning Participants are below. Please keep in mind that these are general requirements and are subject to change.
All participants must take a course designated by the Office of Service Learning to fulfill the SLC requirement.
SLC Integrating Seminar “fourth hour” is a one credit graded seminar that meets each week for 1 hour and 15 minutes. It is required for all members of the Sophomore Service Learning Community. This seminar requires the student to integrate information and experience from their SLC course, seminar readings, class discussions, written assignments and yearlong service placement. The seminar will cover issues related to a variety of issues that affect the people with whom we serve. Topics include effects of poverty, inequities in education, racism, segregation, illiteracy, homelessness, illiteracy and differing abilities. The goal of this seminar is “reflection” however; reflection without education, without knowledge is dangerous so you will be required to read material that contextualizes the issues you see in the community. You will come to understand what you think if you are honest with yourself and others in the seminar. We are not asking that people agree with one another, the material, the instructor or student facilitators. We are just asking that you critically think about issues and your opinions in a way that includes the community and the text. We hope that you are challenged and challenging for one another as we are dealing with difficult and complex social matters.
All participants should attend Orientation Sessions for the SLC and for actual service sites.
Community Action Project.
Purpose of Community Action Project is to “do something” for the school or agency with whom you serve. You will encounter many issues in low income, “poor” communities, sometimes the problems are overwhelming and you might feel that you are helpless in the face of them. This is an opportunity to overcome that feeling of helplessness and do something. Another way of doing a community project is to do something “with” those with whom you serve.
It is our belief that the people who work in their agencies know what they need better than we do and can prioritize those needs so the agenda should be that of the community partner. However, creativity often comes from the outside, so if you have a good idea because of what you have experienced you can discuss that idea with the community liaison. The goal is to implement a program which is designed to meet a specific need identified by our community partner (or agreed upon) or to educate the Villanova Community or members of SLC about the issues you encounter at your service site. Sometimes a school or agency has a list of things they have been meaning, hoping to do and just don’t have the time or expertise to get it done. This year we are looking for a group who is willing to create a film about SLC that can be used for our website. There are other colleges who have videos which you can use as an example.
Students who serve at a site will work in small groups. (Group size is dependent on the project) use their skills for research to find the best way to address the need or problem that is identified by the community partner liaison. This program must be designed so that the Villanova group can implement program or begin implementation before the end of spring semester.
Examples of projects from previous years
The special events that Service Learning Participants must typically participate in include Cooke Day, partnership dinner, and the celebration dinner at the end of the year. Both dinners are catered and are free to SLC participants.
All participants must attend one lecture a year. Topics and speakers range, and there is always a diverse offering to choose from.
To help bridge the gap between the different aspects of living and learning in the SLC, we ask that all participants complete several reading readings. .
Service: You will mentor a child or teen, tutor in classroom and after school programs, teach adult literacy, teach in local high schools, and teach Peer Mediation to elementary school children or high school students for 3-4 hours per week.
There are soup kitchen and homeless shelter service sites available.
Learning: You are required to take one course fall and spring semester that are designated for the Sophomore Service Learning Community. You are also required to register for a 1 credit integrating seminar.
Community: You will live with students who share values and desire to serve the poor and examine the causes and structures in society which keep people poor. You will enjoy Community nights, evenings of reflection celebration dinners, orientation in August and January and day of service in September and opportunities to choose some weekends of service.