Students presented their Introduction to Social Work course work at the spring Service-Learning Symposium in March 2011
Service-learning is a link between academic coursework and societal issues that encourages reflection on one's role in the community and an understanding of academic course content.
Service-learning at Carlow:
- promotes civic responsibility
- works to affect positive social change
- increases knowledge and understanding in an academic discipline
- continues the Mercy tradition of responding to community needs
Undergraduate students in Carlow’s traditional program complete a service-learning course as part of the core curriculum requirements.
Effective service-learning includes the following components:
- Clear learning objectives for the course which are enhanced through the service project
- Reciprocal community partnerships built on mutuality, parity and shared control and expertise
- Reflection on the service experience and how it relates to course concepts and civic engagement
- Evaluation of student learning, service outcomes and future sustainability
Carlow’s service-learning program promotes scholarly engagement with the social and moral challenges of our time. We partner in problem solving with local communities as we continue the service tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, Carlow’s founders.
|Student reflective service-learning essay: Organizing in a public housing development
"A visit to the Hilltop housing community startled my world as I had known it. Remembering my emotions, my perceptions force me to reach deeper into myself and consider the evolution of my thoughts during this service learning experience. Before I started the project, I wrote that for eight weeks my conscience would not rest. It is now nearly four weeks after the completion of the project, and I am convinced that my mind will never rest. ...How was I to come to terms with the financial inequity of my home and the community of Hilltop? To what extent would the social ministry and action with which I had become involved just perpetuate the dominant culture without recognizing differences of the environment, of opportunities, of people? What could I do in the short span of time to participate in the mission of redevelopment and rebuilding of lives, of community? The impact of these questions is much for a mind to confront. But as I began to consider these questions, I began to realize my role."