Service-learning allows students to connect their academic endeavors with the community through service experiences. It allows learning to take place outside the classroom, while providing students with the opportunity to reflect on their newly acquired skills and experiences in the classroom. From January to December 2007, approximately 120 courses were offered at UNF with a service-learning component. In the Communication department, 46% of the graduating seniors in 2007 participated in a service-learning project. The Psychology department has students volunteering approximately 5,000 hours annually to Head Start Centers in Northeast Florida through their service-learning program.
The Honors Program has been offering service-learning courses since 1996, and students have volunteered 101,388 hours through the program. Last year, the program offered nine courses for 143 students, with over 9,000 hours volunteered. The courses deal with such issues as at-risk youth, poverty, refugee issues, domestic violence, health care, and literacy. Students volunteer each week with agencies in Northeast Florida such as Hubbard House, Clara White Mission, Habitat for Humanity, Nemours Children’s Clinic, Mayo Clinic, and Lutheran Social Services.
Select List of Service-Learning Programs
Brooks College of Health
School of Nursing – Community Partnerships
assess, plan, and implement a project that meets a community
health-driven need, guided by theory and evidence. Programs have
included Second Harvest Food Bank, Ronald MacDonald House, Pine Castle,
World Relief, "No Strokes" Program at Shands, and "Know Strokes" Program
at the American Heart Association. Activities have included:
educational programs, mentoring for various populations, assistance with
a refugee resettlement program, mentoring Girl Scouts in teaching
stroke education to vulnerable populations; comfort and consultation for
parents of sick children; physical assessments for developmentally
delayed adults and assistance with physician medical appointments; and
extensive stroke awareness education for many citizens in downtown
Public Health – Instructional Methods in Health
conjunction with community agencies and school system contacts,
students prepare, deliver and evaluate a 45 to 60 minute training. Both
the target audience participants and the site supervisor evaluate the
trainer(s) using student developed evaluation forms. The trainers also
complete formative (reflective) and summative evaluations of their
trainings. Organizations include school districts, hospitals, public
health departments and non-profit agencies.
College of Arts & Sciences
Communications - The Hope Fund
Students in the department of Communications Applied Journalism course interview members of families recommended by Volunteer Jacksonville organizations, and the stories appear in the Florida Times-Union. The stories are used to generate funds for the organizations, and it has raised nearly $2 million since it began in 1993.
Philosophy – Environmental Ethics
Faculty and students chose a Duval County brown site and through a multidisciplinary approach conducted a case study in order to see how and why environmental injustice occurs. This required students to conduct extensive research, some even culled through school district archives.
Coggin College of Business
Students identify the needs of the community and develop suitable programs and implement it during the semester at the same time developing their skills. Some of the projects include teaching high school students how to start their own business; organizing a business ethics program for students; conducting finance literacy workshops to Job Corps, Foundation Academy, and Pace Center students and employees of Wal-Mart; and teaching the importance of recycling and protecting the environment to students through interactive exercises.
College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Building Construction Management (BCM) - Senior Capstone Course
Students plan and implement a service learning project. They are tasked with assessing project needs, resources, developing a plan of action, and then implementing that plan to the successful execution of these projects. Students from the department are recruited to assist with the work. For example, one project entailed over 120 BCM students removing and replacing 1,000 sq. ft. of roofing for the Boys' Home of Jacksonville.
School of Computing – Computing Capstone Design
This is the first of a sequence of two courses where students have the opportunity to analyze, implement, and deploy a mobile software system associated with a specific application. In Spring 2007, the students collaborated with the Duval County School Board to develop an on-line application for the Math Superstars program, offered on a volunteer basis at the public elementary schools in the state of Florida.
College of Education and Human Services
Teaching Diverse Populations
Students in this course are required to complete two components, one in reading and the other in diverse culture. The reading course involves methods that teachers can use to help strengthen the reading skills and comprehension of students with special needs, and low academic reading performance. The other course prepares teachers to provide appropriate and exceptional classroom instruction to diverse cultures in the classroom. Students are also required to conduct after school tutoring in mathematics and reading at St. Claire Evans Elementary, a project that has been a successful implementation for the past five years. With the help and assistance of our students, St. Claire Evans has gone from an F school to a C school.
Practicum in School Counseling
The school counseling practicum requires each student to complete 100 hours of school counseling activities in the community and they complete these hours in a variety of ways. One of these ways includes pairing with the Gear Up program and Duval County Public Schools, allowing our students to mentor the students at inner-city schools, Butler and Northwestern Middle Schools. Our students also help plan and participate in parent nights, college fairs, and college tours in both the Gear Up schools and their practicum sites located in various schools throughout the city of Jacksonville.
* See Appendix A for a complete list