Saturday, May 19, 2012

Service-Learning at University of San Francisco

Our university is making Service Learning a requirement for all undergraduates.  Starting in 2012, with the freshman in the new 4-year programs, each student has to take at least one 3-credit subject in Service Learning.

In April, a small team of us went to visit a number of American universities to find our how Service Learning is done over there.

Our first stop was University of San Francisco.  It is a Catholic university run by the Jesuits, with a strong commitment in Service Learning, which has been a requirement since 2002.

Starting with the president, who is a priest, they have a number of strong advocates in leading positions - the provost, in the School of Management, in the School of Arts and Science, ...

They have developed a wide range of community-based courses about social justice.   They have programs to support faculty development, hiring students as advocates for community engagement, and to develop community partners.  They sent students all over San Francisco, to Nicaragua and Peru.  The president himself and deans went with the students.  There is a pervasive spirit of public service that we hope to one day achieve. 

They also have an interesting branding campaign.  They place provocative advertisements all over San Francisco, which, predictably, generate a lot of interest. 

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