Service Learning Opportunities at UofSC
Service learning is a method of teaching and learning designed to connect meaningful community service with academic coursework and purposeful reflection. The experience promotes reciprocal benefits for all participants and a renewed sense of community connection while upholding the principles embodied in the Carolina Creed.
Service learning courses emphasize hands-on tasks that address real-world concerns as a venue for educational growth. The service experience provides a context for testing, observing or trying out discipline-specific and theory-based theories, concepts and skills.
Through reciprocal learning and community engagement, service learning helps prepare students to be full and responsible participants in both their profession and their communities.
10th Annual Community Partner Breakfast – Oct. 26, 2017
The 10th Annual Community Partner Breakfast will be held on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 7:30–10 a.m in the University of South Carolina’s Russell House Ballroom. Attendance is FREE! Please register for the breakfast in the appropriate category: Students, Faculty/Staff, Community Partners. Friday, October 6 is the priority registration deadline.
The Excellence is Service-Learning Awards will be distributed during the Community Partner Breakfast. Please nominate students, faculty, or community partners/non-profit organizations that have made meaningful and measurable contributions to USC’s service-learning efforts. You can access the nomination forms here: Students, Faculty, Community Partners. Friday, Oct. 6 is the priority nomination deadline.
Service learning provides students with an opportunity to become engaged in public issues concerning the community. A growing body of research shows that meaningful service to the community interwoven with high quality classroom instruction has significant positive effects on:
• Academic performance
• Choice of a service career
• Plans to participate in service after college
• Increased degree of interest in subject matter
Service learning courses can help students earn Graduation with Leadership Distinction (GLD). As part of the GLD Community Service pathway, service-learning provides students with a meaningful opportunity to integrate their learning. Service-learning prepares students to be full and responsible participants in both their profession and their communities.
Service learning awards [pdf]
AmeriCorps VISTA is the national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Founded as Volunteers in Service to America in 1965 and incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs in 1993, VISTA has been on the front lines in the fight against poverty in America. Today, approximately 6,500 AmeriCorps VISTA members serve on over 1,200 projects throughout the United States. As a South Carolina Campus Compact (SCCC) member, the University of South Carolina is able to annually sponsor two AmeriCorps VISTAs. One of the U of SC VISTAs works simultaneously in the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement and the South Carolina Honors College. SCCC VISTAs respond to the needs in the community surrounding the college or university they serve and mobilize student volunteers to make an impact both on campus and in the community. For more information, visit the AmeriCorps website.
AmeriCorps Summer Associates
We recruit AmeriCorps Summer Associates in the late spring semester to work full time with local non-profit agencies in the Columbia, S.C. area. These positions are for undergraduate or graduate students seeking an opportunity to serve their community in a greater capacity.
What do AmeriCorps Summer Associates typically do?
• Identify local poverty-related community needs, specifically focusing on promoting health and wellness
• Facilitate programs that impact low-income populations
• Build campus-community partnerships
• Conduct community education, outreach, and awareness related to the project
• Build capacity and sustainable programs at their host campuses
AmeriCorps Summer Associates (funded completely through Corporation for National and Community Service grant money are typically eligible for:
• $1,200 education award
• Summer living allowance of approximately $1,500
• Commitment to community service, service learning, and social justice
• Strong written and verbal communication skills
• Agree to serve eight weeks (56 days)
• Be a current UofSC undergraduate student
How to Apply
For more information, please contact Jabari Bodrick at email@example.com.
Resources are available to tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty in all academic disciplines, student affairs professionals, graduate students and more.
Whether you are totally new to service learning or want to help take a leadership role in advancing service learning on campus, we would love to hear from you.
A service-learning course can be developed as a new offering or by adding a service learning component to an existing course.
Please contact Jabari Bodrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-777-2811 to discuss the service learning course development process, including
• Assisting with service learning course development
• Administering pre- and post-service learning course assessments
• Sharing publication and presentation opportunities
• Recognizing faculty accomplishments in service learning
• Connecting faculty with community partners whose needs are relevant to academic course goals
• Facilitating partnership meetings between faculty and community partners
• Publicizing service learning and community-engaged funding opportunities
• Conducting service-learning orientations in service-learning courses
Professional Organizations, Publication Outlets and Awards [pdf]
The Capstone Scholars Program is a two-year educational enrichment program, designed to provide opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Capstone Scholars live by the program motto: “Dream big, impact the community, and leave a legacy! The pillars of the program are academics, leadership, social, and service.
Center for Teaching Excellence
The Center for Teaching Excellence inspires excellence and innovation in teaching. The CTE staff creates and provides programming, resources, and opportunities that foster innovative and effective pedagogical practices among all who teach at USC. The office’s seeks to:
• Enhance the pedagogical knowledge and effectiveness of all who teach at USC in the classroom, online and beyond
• Support the design and development of high-quality distributed learning courses and fosters best practices in online teaching
• Increase faculty knowledge, skills and dispositions related to developing and assessing students’ integrative learning abilities
• Foster partnerships and leverage support for programs that improve conditions necessary for student learning
Leadership and Service Center
The Leadership and Service Center is a premier space on campus offering a unique and collaborative environment for students to explore their own leadership development. The Center’s mission is to provide opportunities that will enhance the college experience, aid students in self-exploration and prepare them to be leaders after graduation. Through tailored one-on-one coaching, innovative workshops and programs, and limitless opportunities, we aim to help students:
• Connect to campus and community organizations, activities and resources
• Cultivate meaningful experiences, develop a sense of purpose and identify their passions
• Articulate the skills and competencies developed through their involvement
• Become responsible and engaged citizens in their local, national and global communities
Office of Sustainability
The Office of Sustainability seeks to educate and transform the campus, community and individuals by promoting collaborative relationships among students, faculty, staff, and community members for exploring and implementing the changes required to create a sustainable campus and society. The student branch of the office is known as Sustainable Carolina, which empowers students to address campus and global issues through intensive experiential learning and leadership opportunities.
Office of Undergraduate Research
The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) seeks to enrich the academic experience of all USC undergraduates by providing research and scholarly experiences in their chosen fields. The office promotes inquiry, discovery, and creativity in all disciplines through faculty-student mentoring relationships and the integration of instruction with research, scholarship, and creative activities.
Preston Residential College
Preston Residential College is open to all undergraduates and to all academic majors on the USC-Columbia campus. With longstanding traditions, innovative programming, student initiatives, faculty mentoring, and a unique dining facility, Preston Residential College fosters a dynamic living and learning environment that promotes intellectual exchange, leadership development, social interaction, and creative expression beyond the traditional confines of the classroom.
Study Abroad Office
The Study Abroad Office’s full-time and student staff has collectively visited over 50 countries and is eager to help students, faculty members, and staff members navigate the planning process for their own exciting adventures abroad. The office’s staff truly provides high-quality global programming and helps the university community develop a broader worldview.
The South Carolina Honors College
The South Carolina Honors College is among the oldest and the best honors colleges in the country. The Honors College offers 490 classes with an average size of 16. Students receive individual attention, support and advising as you engage in research projects, service-learning, internships and study away.
University 101 Programs
The mission of University 101 Programs is to foster student success, learning, and engagement by providing academic courses, leadership opportunities, and instructor development in support of students’ transition into, through, and out of the University. University 101 Programs, housed in the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support, strives to be an exemplar of innovative, collaborative, and integrative learning and recognized as the leader in first-year and transition seminars, peer education, and professional development.
USC Connect is a comprehensive learning initiative designed to support students in making the most of their education by integrating learning within and beyond the classroom. The USC Connect staff leads and manages Graduation with Leadership Distinction, the signature program of USC Connect.
In order to actively engage students, service-learning courses tie community service to academic content by giving students the opportunity to extend the learning environment beyond a class traditional classroom setting. We build relationships between community agencies and USC by providing opportunities for USC students to address and learn from real community problems. Please contact Jabari Bodrick at email@example.com or 803-777-2811 for more information on establishing a service learning partnership.
Community Partner Benefits
• Increased efficiency, quality of services, or extent of services offered by university-assisted agencies
• Increased access to university resources (e.g., facilities, expertise, programs)
• Improved relationships with the University of South Carolina
• Community-based research projects that enhance or improve an agency’s understanding of community needs
• Communities are exposed to and learn about emerging generations of students.
• Students can bring unique or modern skills to their service (e.g., webpage design).
• Myths and stereotypes that a community has about students can be broken down and dispelled. Similarly, myths and stereotypes that students have about a community can be removed through exposure and experience.
Community Partner Breakfast
Each year, the Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement sponsors the Community Partner Breakfast in the Russell House University Union Ballroom from 7:30–9 a.m.
The Community Partner Breakfast, part of the University’s efforts to celebrate and build sustainable community partnerships, connects campus representatives with local agencies to enhance the success of service-learning and other community engagement initiatives. The event is free and open to faculty, staff, students and community agency representatives who are involved or interested in campus-community partnerships.
Through both quantitative and qualitative measures, we strive to assess the impact service learning initiatives have on students, faculty and the community.
Service learning frequently builds lasting ties between universities and the communities in which they are located. Community agencies highly value the involvement of college students, not only for their enthusiasm, but because they are eager to explore the intersection of theory and practice, can be cultivated as potentially lifelong volunteers, and are likely to apply their professional skills to service commitment.