Community-Based Learning

What is community-based learning?

In the McGovern Center, we use this definition to help explain this kind of service:

Community-based learning is an intentional pedagogical strategy to integrate student learning in academic courses with community engagement. This work is based on reciprocal and mutually beneficial partnerships between instructors, students, and community groups. The goal is to address community-identified needs and ultimately create positive social change. Critical reflection is an essential component of community-based learning; it serves to enhance students’ learning of course content, understanding of the community, and sense of civic agency.
(Taken from University of Colorado- Boulder CU Engage website: http://www.colorado.edu/cuengage/about-us/what-community-based-learning)

Here at DWU, the McGovern Center works with faculty and our community partners to help create an engaging, educational service experience for the classroom, that helps to enhance student learning– specifically as it relates to their course curriculum or degree program.

Here are some examples of community-based learning projects we’ve done this year:

The Abbott House

  • DWU Business Finance students helped to teach a financial literacy course to students at the Abbott House.  The girls there learned finance basics, budgeting, goal-setting, credit, and a variety of other topics, while the DWU students were able to explore their own knowledge by teaching what they themselves have learned in the classroom.
  • DWU upper-level Experimental Psychology students assisted in a community-based research project where they provided research into various therapeutic techniques.  They gave a special emphasis to neurofeedback– a technique the Abbott House had been interested in learning more about.  The students then presented the data to the Abbott House staff, which allowed them to move forward in implementing this as a possible route for their organization.

James Valley Community Center

  • DWU Social Psychology students partnered up with members of JVCC and met with them several times throughout the semester to engage in conversation and build relationships.  The students practiced interview skills and learned more about inter-generational relationships.  More importantly, we think, there were some awesome friendships built (that continued even after the project!)
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Community Garden and Mitchell Area Food Pantry

  • Students collected leftover produce from area gardens at the end of the growing season and donated the produce to the food pantry.  These students were taking a class titled, “Ending Hunger”, and learned about food security, access to healthy foods, and nutrition.  Finding out that it is often challenging to have access to healthy, nutritious food when most of your meals come from food pantries, donating fresh produce that would have otherwise gone to waste helped!

 

PLUS, many, many more!  Feel free to email us if you’d like to keep in the loop about other CBL projects in the future!  We will do our best to keep updating here, too!
Carly Hubers- McGovern Center Program Coordinator- cahubers@dwu.edu

Community Partner Breakfast

The McGovern Center held our first annual Community Partner Breakfast last week as a way to say “thank you” to the organizations that were directly involved with our center in helping to create service-learning and community-based learning opportunities for our students.  We encouraged our community partners to reach out if they had an idea for a service-learning project or other opportunity for our students to serve.

We also presented the Abbott House with the “Community Partner of the Year” award.  The Abbott House has been especially involved and committed to engaging our students in service and community-based learning projects.  We wanted to thank them, and all of our community partners, for helping to teach our student the importance of service.

Tomorrow, we’ll be sharing a post about community-based learning– what it is and how DWU students have jumped into this kind of service this year!  Check back!

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Congratulations to The Abbott House for receiving the McGovern Center “Community Partner of the Year” award!

 

Third Freedom and MEG- Conference updates

Our UFWH group (also known as Third Freedom) attended the 2017 Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit at Walsh University just a few weeks ago.  They participated in discussion about food waste and food security.  Our students, including senior Amy Zeller, even presented about our piggery project taking place in Uganda.

Our McGovern Engagement Group (also known as MEG) just got back this weekend from a Model UN event hosted at the University of Minneapolis.  They each held a specific role, representing a leader from a different country, and engaged issues of security and conflict with other student delegates.  The students did a great job in this completely student-run event!  Check out the photo slideshows below:

UFWH Conference:

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MEG’s Model UN event:

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