Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 



Introduction
Interdisciplinary Seminar Program 
Pre-enrollment Forms (Lincoln Center / Rose Hill)
Service Courses
Contact Information

 

Introduction

The central idea with service-learning is that students are testing the concepts of their courses (e.g. in the humanities) or practicing the skills of a course (e.g. languages or sciences) through experience in the community.  This experience is in service to an underrepresented or marginalized group.  Thus, service-learning ought to benefit both the student who learns course materials through additional methods, exposure and experience, and the community agency where the student volunteers his/her time.

All placements in service agencies are arranged through the community service office where an affiliate network has already been established in the community.  The community service office aids students in finding a site appropriate to a particular course and establishing contact for volunteer placement.

Currently, Fordham has service-learning initiatives across the disciplines in a variety of forms, including:

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Interdisciplinary Serminar Program

In this program, students independently make the connection between a course they are enrolled in and service to the community.  Students who participate in this option receive one credit upon completion of all requirements.

To become a participant of the service-learning program a student must:
1. Choose which course and service agency you would like to work with for service-learning (assistance available at Community Service Program office).
1. Pick up a service-learning agreement from the Community Service Program office.
2. Discuss connections between service and the course with a Community Service Program staff.
3. Discuss connections between service and the course with instructor, get instructor's approval and have the course instructor sign the agreement. 
4. Discuss the agreement with the agency supervisor, who must also sign the agreement.
5. Make a copy of the agreement for your own records and return the original to the Community Service Program Office on your campus by January 25th (RH-McGinley 101, x4510 or LC- 18A , x7464).

REQUIREMENTS
30 hours (minimum) of community service (distribution of hours set up with community partner)
Five guided-reflection seminars which take place throughout the semester (Mon. @ RH, Thurs. @ LC)
2 integrative essays
E-mail weekly reflections (Due on Sunday nights: twofeetpraxisS08@googlegroups.com)*
Any other requirements added by the course professor
Service-learning Luncheon (optional)
* You will need to create a Google e-mail account to join the Service-learning Google group: TwoFeetPraxisS08. This will be required to participate in web discussions, to access important documents, to receive seminar reminders, and other important communication.
 
GRADING
As a pedagogy, service-learning recognizes that student work in a course is impacted by their time spent in service. Because of this, the following is the breakdown for your grade in the Service-Learning One Credit Program:
- %5 of your grade will be given by the Community Service Program based on your participation in reflection programming 
- 5% of your grade will be given by the Community Partner based on the learning that takes place at the site
- 90% of your grade will be given by the course instructor

Benefits:
- Students are responsible for initiating and following through with the program
- Begins connections between service in the community and course
- Introduces faculty members to a community agency
- Students look at social issues encountered in service and class through a variety of lenses in the interdisciplinary seminar

Examples:
- Course: Intermediate Spanish II
Service: St. Rita’s Center
(tutoring recent immigrants at Theodore Roosevelt H.S.)
- Course: Black Prison Experience
Service: Osborne Association      
(alternative program to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders)
- Course: Philosophy of Human Nature
Service: Concourse House
(after school program for children living in a transitional shelter)
- Course: Statistical Decision Making
Service: M.S. 245      
(tutoring middle school students in math)

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Pre-enrollment Forms (Lincoln Center / Rose Hill)

Welcome prospective service-learner!
If you are interested in becoming part of the Service-Learning Interdisciplinary Seminar this semester, please fill out the appropriate pre-enrollment form.

Lincoln Center
Rose Hill

You can also learn more by visiting our offices in McGinley 101 at RH or SL18A at LC.
Please be advised that the deadline for enrollment is the second Friday of the semester. Thank you and we will be in contact with you shortly.

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Courses with Service Option

In this faculty-initiated format, an instructor offers a service option as one among many possible final projects.  For example, students in the course may have the option of participating in service and integrating this experience in a written assignment engaging course material.  This option is often in place of a traditional research project.  Presented on the syllabus as the ‘preferred option,’ a high percentage of students may engage in service connected with a course and add a new dimension to course discussions.

Benefits:
- Faculty have more input in the selection of a student’s service site, tailoring the connection more closely to thecourse material
- Often serves as a first step in service learning course development without reworking course structure
- Allows students enrolled in the course to have more flexibility; those interested in service can pursue the option, those not interested can write a more traditional research paper
- Ongoing discussion in the classroom allows students to develop connections between service and course in conversations with others who are exploring similar connections

Example:
- Work and Family SORU 3504
(Service is an option, not a requirement).
Professor Chris Morett (Rose Hill, TF 1:00-2:15 pm)

This course explores the relationship between people’s work and family life, and why work-family conflict has increased in recent years.
   We discuss the causes and consequences of work-family conflict, with consequences including workers’ psychological and physical well-being, child development and well-being, workplace productivity, and issues related to employee recruitment and retention.   We study how work-family issues are affected by current trends in society and the economy and labor market, and we look at the role of work flexibility policies in reducing work-family conflict. 

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Integrated Service Courses
 

In this form of service-learning, the course is listed in the catalogue as a ‘service’ course, and students understand in advance that service hours in the community are required.  Thus, the service experience can be fully integrated into the methods of learning in the course and enhance classroom discussions.  Generally, faculty members structure the course load so that service is balanced with reading and writing assignments. 

Benefits:
Analysis and discussion of the service experience can be facilitated within the classroom
Connection between curriculum and service experience can be continuously fostered
Students are able to closely examine the realities and issues of community residents on a weekly basis
Course is advertised as service inclusive course in the course book.

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Contact Information

We are interested in developing these initiatives and expanding the opportunities for service-learning at Fordham.  If you would like to be part of the conversation or have questions about taking part in one of the initiatives currently in place, please contact us:

Jeannine Hill Fletcher, (Service-learning Faculty Director, Theology Department), hillfletche@fordham.edu

Sandra Lobo Jost, (Community Service Program Director), lobo@fordham.edu

Melissa Alvarenga (Associate Coordinator at Rose Hill, x4510), alvarenga@fordham.edu

Kate Cavanagh (Associate Coordinator at Lincoln Center, x7464),
cavanagh@fordham.edu

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