Service-based learning: A different type of school

Writing papers and completing homework assignments may be typical college to-do’s, but with the engineering course ENG 315, students can add “tutoring children at a local elementary school” or “building a well in Africa” to that list.

The course focuses on service-learning and project management and aims to help students get involved with service learning opportunities.

Learning in Community, or LINC, courses are partnered with 22 different sponsors and nonprofit corporations to help students immerse themselves in a service-learning project.

“I think the University’s program can really open a lot of doors for people who are interested in service learning and coupling it with a course at the school,” said Rebecca Sconza, freshman in LAS.

Through service-learning and social entrepreneurship, students are able to take on tasks and projects with a degree of professionalism that can not only give them volunteer experience but also prepare them for a future job world.

Brittany Koteles, undergraduate affiliate at the Center for Teaching Excellence, said she believes students should take the LINC courses because they have applications outside classwork.

“LINC is more than just volunteering,” Koteles said. “It’s bringing in your experience from the community into the classroom and employing what you learn to real-life situations.”

In order for students to learn more about these opportunities, the course is presenting a Service-Learning & Social Entrepreneurship Showcase. The showcase will take place Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Business Instructional Facility.

Students who are interested in service-learning are encouraged to attend this event because they will be able to expand their knowledge of the programs, as well as learn about upcoming projects the University is participating in. Students will also have the opportunity to present their own proposals for service-learning projects.

Madison Jordan, freshman in LAS, said she thinks the showcase will be very beneficial for students who want to get involved in volunteering.

“After doing a lot of service-learning in high school, I really wanted to get involved in college,” Jordan said. “I think attending the showcase will be the perfect way for me to continue and discover more of my service-learning passions while I am in college.”