December 11, 2018  

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Spring Seminar Helps USM Faculty Gain Better Understanding of Service Learning for Students

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In an effort to help faculty acquire more productive ways to engage student in service learning opportunities, The University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is sponsoring an educational seminar in spring, 2019.

Held each spring since 2001, the seminar is designed to foster discussion on best practices for involving students in meaningful projects or research that positively impact the Hattiesburg community.

“We talk about how this work can develop students to become leaders for positive change, which seems more important than ever in our current political and social climate,” said CCE Director Christy Arrazattee.

Seminar participants meet once a week during the semester. Arrazattee notes that critical topics of focus include:

  • Building strong community partnerships
  • Modifying existing curriculum to include service
  • Helping student make connections between service and learning
  • Research and assessment possibilities.

By Arrazattee’s estimation, students who are involved in service as part of the learning process gain a more hands-on understanding of the topics they are studying and/or skills they are trying to learn.

“Many times working with a real organization, especially one with a good cause, is more motivating than a hypothetical partner,” she said. “Service-learning allows students to experience the nuances and challenges that they’ll face as future professionals – lessons they don’t always get from a textbook or classroom.”

Applications are still being taken for the seminar. To learn more about the USM Center for Community Engagement, call 601.266.5074 or visit: https://www.usm.edu/center-community-engagement