Last Tuesday we had the Pleasure of having Mrs. Brown come and speak with the class on Service Learning. She works at VCU in the Division of Community of Engagement. It was very surprising that no one in the class knew what that was, including myself. I think that there are many more things at VCU that students don’t know about that can actually help them, but that is another story. Mrs. Burke discussed that 3400 students took Service Learning courses last year which is a lot of people! The biggest thing that she wanted to clarify was that Service Learning is MESSY!! Which I think everyone in the class can agree with. She then defined what service learning was and also noted how it falls right in the middle of service and an internship. We as a class gave our two cents on why Service Learning is messy and we came up with scheduling conflicts, different priorities, and lack of communication to name a few. We were then split into different groups representing Students, Instructors, Community Partners, and VCU. We were asked to identify the different obstacles that each face. I was in the Community Partner group and the biggest obstacles that we came up with were lack of trust, and different goals and objectives. All in all it was a very necessary guest speaking event that I think the whole class needed.
This article talks about the pros and cons of Service Learning and I thought that it was interesting. Check it Out!