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Running head: CASE STUDY #3

Case Study #3
Hector Solis-Ortiz
Loyola University Chicago
February 17, 2015

CASE STUDY #3

Introduction
Experiential learning is a pivotal part in a students overall learning experience in
that it provides students an opportunity to interact with their surrounding community.
These centers enable a student to gain an immense amount of opportunities to learn and
thrive depending on the needs of the student. These service learning experiences enhance
a students worldview and in some instances can become a transformative experience
while in college. In order to understand the full scope of what goes into an experiential
learning program or center it would be beneficial to look at existing programs to see what
the common trends are and where they differ.
Descriptive Analysis
San Jose State Universitys (SJSU) Center for Community Learning &
Leadership (CCLL) department states, we support faculty and students in community
learning, projects and research that develop in students the knowledge, skills, values and
motivations to socially responsible citizens (San Jose State University, n.d.). They are
able to do this by establishing partnerships with nonprofit organization and coalitions in
the Silicon Valley. The CCLL has a variety of programs that interact with the outside
community that include: JusticeCorps, Community Learning Courses, Project SHINE,
Student Against Violence Everywhere, Veterans Embracing Transition Project, and
Restore Coyote Creek. Each one of these programs is meant to instill leadership
opportunities by tying in each student's field of study and getting to provide a positive
outlook for the community. JusticeCorps is a program that allows students to work in a
Superior Court self help centers where they can assist in attorney facilitated workshops
and is intended for Justice Studies majors in which they can earn internship credit as well.

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The hope within this program is to apply what they learn in a classroom and work
alongside the community to get better immersed in their environment. CCLL offers a
wide variety of Community Learning Courses that meets the needs and interest of the
students field of study while providing tangible service work in the community. Some
of these courses include child development in mental health courses where students have
a chance to work with students in a daycare setting while studying student behavior. Not
only do they have a chance to learn outside in the community, but they can bring what
they learn into the classroom.
Fordham Universitys Service Learning department states, this experience is in
service to underrepresented or marginalized group... service learning ought to benefit
both the student who learns course materials through, exposure and experience and the
community agency (Fordham University, n.d.). Fordham is a Jesuit institution which is
why most if not all of their programs are meant to interact with a community that lacks
resources especially if they are marginalized. Students have a variety of different
program to choose from in this department. Students who choose to take a service
learning course will have to sign up for these classes that would count as a general
education course and most of these class will be humanities based courses. Fordhams
service learning initiatives include two different approaches, including: Interdisciplinary
seminar and Integrated Service Courses.
An interdisciplinary seminar is one in which students delve deeper into social
justice issues by having an opportunity to work in social justice projects within the larger
New York state community and be able to apply academic coursework and service in one
fell swoop. In this program students will need to give at least 30 hours of community

CASE STUDY #3

service to a designated location that is assigned to them at the beginning of the semester.
They also have to attend five disciplinary seminar meetings in which they talk about
social justice and the Jesuit ideals and how they connect to the overall mission of the
University. The second program are the integrated service courses which are similar to
the interdisciplinary seminars, but differ in that students service experience is strictly
facilitated in the classroom. Theres also a bit of a disconnect in that most of these
courses are still in a workshop basis and its a new initiative in which the department is
trying to expand on it so at times its unclear as to what the true intention is.
Santa Clara University (SCU), was another Jesuit University I was highly
interested in seeing how they structure their experiential learning. Their Community
Based Learning department takes an interesting role at their University. All of their
programs are based off The Thriving Neighbors initiative designed for staff and
students to work in collaboration with residents in the San Jose area as well with the
Greater Washington State residents. Thriving Neighbors will build local capacity for
entrepreneurship, expanded educational choice, healthy living and more (Santa Clara
University, n.d.). The hope is that students will gain practical skills in helping others and
be a good neighbor which in turn can be transferred to being a person to serve others in
the future.
The center offers 9 different initiatives for students and faculty to interact with
the community. There are some programs that are entirely staff centered in which they
are there to provide professional services. For example, the Abriendo Puertas: Opening
Doors to Early Childhood Education Via iPads program is an initiative where faculty
and staff work with parents in the San Jose are to provide math and literacy development

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for young children in predominantly Latino neighborhood by incorporating technology in


the classroom. Students have an opportunity to participate in three set programs that
include: Arrupe Engagement, internships and fellowships. The Arrupe engagement
program is where students can choose service learning classes through the course
catalogs and have a chance to do service with 50 local community partners. The
internship program is designed for students who are Juniors and Seniors to have a chance
to work with a community partner for a full year providing service. Finally, there are 15
fellowships that are granted to students that want to partake in a community based
learning experience where they go to impoverished areas around the world and provide
their service and reflect on how it connects to the Jesuit ideals.
The University of San Franciscos (USF) Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public
Service and the Common Good educates leaders committed to lives of ethical public
service by implementing academically rigorous programs, cultivating authentic
community partnerships, and creating transformational experiences (University of San
Francisco, n.d.). They are able to achieve this through a variety of programs such as
fellowships as well as intensive programs. The most noteworthy programs that students
participate in is the Advocates for Community Engagement (ACE) in which students
commit to work onsite for a nonprofit organization. The role of the student is to be the
liaison between their nonprofit, USF faculty and other service learners. In order to be a
part of the program students need to go through in intensive course and actually get paid
for their experience instead of receiving college credit. Howard (1993) states, academic
credit is for learning, not for service...academic credit is not awarded for doing service or
for the quality of the service, but rather for the students demonstration of academic and

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civic learning (p. 3). The reason I thought it was important to highlight is to start
looking at how do students create that civic learning experience. Especially, when there
are not any way to gauge how students are civically learning through this specific
program especially if students are getting paid to be a part of it.
The second program is a Global Service Learning program in which students take
a global sustainable course throughout the spring semester in which they learn what it
means to be a global citizen. Once this course is over students will then take a class
abroad in India or Bolivia where they develop a proposal for a sustainable development
project, solicit grant funding, and collaborate with colleagues and community members to
implement the project (University of San Francisco, n.d). This abroad experience is
then followed by a 2-unit course in which students are then to reflect on their overall
experience and look at things in a valued based approach. It was so interesting to see
how intentional these programs were in developing students global citizenship and how
integrated the experience was.
New York Universitys (NYU) Experiential Learning is not as easily defined or as
expansive as it was for the previous institutions listed. NYU has certain opportunities in
which students can get involved in experiential learning and service program, but isnt as
accessible or visible at the institution. Since the coursework at this institution is very
rigid students do have opportunities to opt into service learning courses but only
dependent on a plan that students make with their academic advisors. There is no
specific outline as to what these programs are or a curriculum as to what students should
be learning in these internships. Furco (1996) states, internship programs that students
are the primary intended beneficiary and the focus of the service activity is on student

CASE STUDY #3

learning (p. 4). Even though there seems to be a universal understanding of what an
internship should be it is unclear as to how these internships will specifically broaden a
students understanding and or immersion into a service learning experience. Only
certain programs are allowed to participate in this type of learning depending on what
major field of study they will be using. Also, it is a bit hard to distinguish between where
an internship begins and service learning ends. The mission and the program is so vague
which is something that I found a lot of universities had in common.
Comparative Analysis
The hyphen in service-learning is critical in that it symbolizes the symbiotic
relationship between service and learning.the human and community needs that
service-learning addresses are those needs that defined by the community (Jacoby, 2010,
p. 5). Throughout my narrative there obviously were a variety of Jesuit institutions in
which I chose to focus on because I felt as though that service learning came naturally for
the Jesuits. That being said it was interesting to see how much of a difference existed
within each respected institution. The most common things that I found within the Jesuit
schools is how these centers for experiential learning were completely mission focused.
There were a number of times in which these institutions would keep mentioning phrases
as creating experiences for students to engage in the common good. They continually
felt that service learning should have more a service component aspect into how a student
should gain practical skills and have a chance to reflect on their experiences. However,
the way things were worded at times made it seem that students were just there to provide
service instead of working with others, not specifically for other people. If that were the

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case students would have a difficult time reflecting on their experiences and would miss
out on having a transformative point of view.
Another similarity that I found amongst all of the institutions were a lack of detail
as to what each programs learning outcomes. There were some set learning outcomes
for programs, but as I was navigating each center it was unclear as to what the intent at
times. Stanton (1999) states, from the outset of the project, participants and service
recipients alike must have a clear sense of: (1) what is to be accomplished and (2) what is
to be learned (p. 5). Stanton (1999) makes a good point in that for a program to be truly
effective it has to be able to clearly state service and learning goals. This was frustrating
at times in that I was able to understand what each program did, but did not comprehend
how it fit back to the students overall experience.
Differences that I came across through the institutions were that even though
some of the mission statements seem to be similar, for the most part the Jesuit
universities were able to tie in mission with their programs. For institutions such as San
Jose State University and New York University there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect
with what their mission/vision was and the type of programming that the experiential
departments would offer to its students. For example, New York University state, has a
strong commitment to community involvement, there was lack of information or ways
in which they went about in doing so. As I briefly mentioned before not all students
would be able to participate in experiential learning as it is more intended for students
studying the humanities. If this institution had a strong commitment to community
involvement it would be able to find ways in which all students could actively participate
without getting consent from their academic advisor.

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Finally, the biggest similarity that I was able to see is how institutions are
committed to providing programs for both students and faculty to engage in service
learning programs. This was a great surprise in that it showed how some of the
institutions still had a commitment to give back to their respective communities.
Conclusion
Overall, this case study was helpful in learning how to provide service learning
opportunities for students. It is not enough to have a program in which students do
service work for the community, but it is important to gauge what they are taking away
from those experiences. Even though service work is important how we as educators and
facilitators make sure that its more than just task oriented work that we provide for our
students. Experiential learning has to be something in which students are able to reflect
upon each individual task and start to see their place in the world in some senses. This
responsibility lies in the learning outcomes that we set for these programs as well as
making sure that every program that we develop is mission driven to help the common
good, but to still instill a sense of reflective practice throughout these programs.

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References

Center for Community Learning & Leadership | San Jose State University. (n.d.).
Retrieved from http://www.sjsu.edu/ccll/
Experiential Learning at New York University. (n.d.). Retrieved from
www.nyu.edu/students/undergraduates/academic-services/undergraduateadvisement/unique-academic-opportunities/experiential-learning.html
Honnet, E.P. & Poulsen, S.J. (1998). Principles of Good Practice for Combining Service
and Learning, The Johnson Foundation.
Howard, J. (1993). Community service learning in the curriculum. In J. Howas (Ed.),
Praxis I: A faculty casebook on community service learning. (pp. 3-12). Ann
Arbor: OCSL Press.
The Ignatian Center at Santa Clara University -Community-Based Learning. (n.d.).
Retrieved from http://www.scu.edu/ic/cbl/
Jacoby, B. & Associates. (1996). Service-learning in higher education: Concepts and
Practices. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Mission - Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good
University of San Francisco (USF). (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.usfca.edu/centers/mccarthy/about/overview/
Service Learning Program | Fordham. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.fordham.edu/info/20168/service_learning_program
Stanton, T.K., Giles, D.E, Cruz N.I. (1999). Service-learning: A movements pioneers
reflect on its origins, practice, and future. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.