An Examination of the Characteristics of Effective Higher Education and Service Learning Partnerships
Type of DegreeDissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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The purpose of this study was to examine the levels of service learning dimensions and service learning partnerships. The study examined three partnerships currently maintained through the Office of Public Service at a four-year educational institution in the southeastern region of the United States. The partnerships were: AuburnServes, a web-based network designed to network community partners with faculty in service learning courses or with students, either for classes, organizations or individual service interests; House United, a jointbuild project with Habitat for Humanity and the University of Alabama; and Campus Kitchens, food preparation and distribution service. The Self-Assessment Rubric for the Institutionalization of Service-Learning in Higher Education survey developed by Dr. Andy Furco (1999) was utilized to survey respondents. This study concentrated on the perception of awareness of service learning at a major university campus. There is a lack of existing research material studying the institutionalization of service learning at a single major university. Colleges and universities have traditionally placed a significant emphasis on the social development of students, as well as academic growth. The manner in which this is achieved varies from campus to campus, sometimes a Student Affairs branch deals with these aspects primarily or perhaps social development is left to an individual college or department to maintain this area of student life. Service learning can act as a bridge to link the two primary aspects of collegiate student life - Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Student perception of whether or not opportunities for service learning exists on collegiate campuses factor into the effectiveness of the iii institutionalization of service learning. Colleges and universities strive to integrate service learning into curriculum, programs, and projects. Though some campuses discuss the institutionalization of service learning, the majority may not fully immerse service learning into their overall curriculum. There is a lack of studies that examine the levels of service learning engagement at academic institutions. This study examined the levels of service learning dimensions and partnerships at a university.