Integrating Service Learning With EMCC's Learning Philosophy

Submitted by Jill Santy on

I piloted service learning into my three CPD 150 classes (“Strategies for College Success”) Fall 2016 with hopes of integrating authentic educational experiences with real life applications by meeting the needs of both students and volunteer agencies in our community. I worked closely with Landis Elliott in establishing an innovative way to bring service learning into the CPD curriculum while fulfilling EMCC’s “Learning College” philosophy. By adding service learning to the CPD learning objectives, students were able to apply in-class learning (communication skills, time management, critical thinking skills, career networking, leadership skills, etc.) to authentic practice in the community.  At the end of the semester each student created a Prezi oral presentation to class members and guests where they reflected in words and photographs the contribution they had made to the agency in their service learning experience. As a result, I will continue requiring service learning in my CPD classes.

Completed Full Cycle
Course Number
CPD150 20347
CPD 150 20356
CPD 150 20370
Average: 4 (1 vote)


Catherine Cochran Thu, 02/16/2017 - 10:07am

Hi Jill,

I'm glad to hear your students were able to apply their in-class learning through a service learning model. 


Peter Turner Mon, 02/20/2017 - 4:30pm

Good job, but why will you continue to use Service Learning in your classes? What data do you have to back up your continued use of this body of pedagogy? Clearly you were pleased, so tell us why. Finally, one more question: how did this match with EMCC's learning philosophy?

Answer those questions and you will have a top notch CATS; but I must say, this is a great start.

Jill Santy Tue, 02/21/2017 - 2:12pm

In reply to by Peter Turner

Yes, I am continuing to use service learning in spring 2017 semester.  My decision in doing so stems from the reflection piece each student completed at the end of fall's service learning in CPD 150.  Every student reflection supported service learning, and all felt that SL was valuable to them personally as well as to their career exploration.  According to EMCC's "Learning College Philosophy" SL did create "substantive change in individual learners" in students' acknowledgement of the value of SL as expressed in their Prezis.  They "assumed primary responsibility for their own learning" by choosing an agency that suited their career, interests, and values.  Finally, EMCC's learning philosophy supports "creating and offering as many options for learning as possible" and that is exactly what I did in CPD 150.

Becky Baranowski Mon, 02/20/2017 - 5:13pm

Jill - this is great that you had 3 classes do this.  With this being in CPD150, and this course is designed to help our students be successful, I really liked how students answered the question about being a better leader.  I hope they take what they learned and apply it to the rest of their college and professional careers. 

Jill Santy Tue, 02/21/2017 - 2:15pm

Yes, Becky, service learning seems to be a natural fit into CPD 150 (Strategies For College Success) since all entering freshman take this course. Service Learning is just one more strategy for students to implement while preparing for a successful career.

Laura Dulgar Tue, 05/02/2017 - 1:54pm

SL does seem like a natuaral fit for our CPD classes. Do students have to find their own placements? How many hours are they required to volunteer? 

Thank your for engaging our students and reinforcing the importance of service to our community!

Jill Santy Thu, 05/04/2017 - 9:43am

In reply to by Laura Dulgar


Yes, SL is a natural fit for CPD classes and I have encouraged other faculty to implement it into their curriculum.  I have an electronic packet I can forward to interested parties that shows exactly how to add this into your syllabus and into your Canvas shell.  I required 20 hours of SL.  Since students need to plan on 2 hours of homework for every credit they take, that makes CPD's  3 credits x 2 = 6 hours x 15 weeks in the semester = 90 hours of homework.  So the 20 hours I ask for seems reasonable.  In the two semesters I have been doing this, I have not had a single student who did not complete the 20 hours!  They choose from a list of 150+ agencies that Landis Elliott and her department have partnered with, or students can find a new partner and if that agency completes EMCC's paperwork requirements, that new agency is added to the growing list.  At the end of the semester, students incorporate their SL into their final Prezi (CPD's common final) where they share their experience in words and in photographs they take during their  SL experience.  It's been tremendously successful!