Learning Through Service

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Snow service students sort seeds for the Ephraim Community Garden seed bank. Photo courtesy of English Brooks

Snow service students sort seeds for the Ephraim Community Garden seed bank. Photo courtesy of English Brooks

Snow College’s Civic Engagement and Service Learning program gives students the opportunity to enhance their learning experience, serve their community, and stand out to potential employers and transfer institutions.

The Civic Engagement and Service Learning program encourages students to apply what they learn in the classroom while serving the community. Through this program, students are able to earn the Service Scholar Award. “The Service Scholar Award is a recognition that students can work toward and receive at graduation that honors and recognizes the work that they’ve done in applying their studies to working with, serving, and getting involved in their community,” says English Brooks, Snow College’s Civic Engagement & Service Learning Coordinator. Earning the Service Scholar Award provides students with real-life experience and has helped some of them get hired for jobs and accepted to transfer institutions.

To earn the Service Scholar Award, students must complete several requirements. Students must complete 150 hours of service, including 50 hours from their integrated service project. For the integrated service project, a student identifies a need in his or her community, and then develops and carries out a meaningful project to fill the need. “My integrated service project for this semester is a city and campus wide food drive,” says Savannah Sloan, a student in Snow College’s Service Scholar program. Sloan set up collection bins throughout the community to collect food for the food bank in Mount Pleasant and Buster’s Pantry.

Students are also required to take Intro to Civic Engagement & Service Learning (GNST 1100), along with six other service learning credits. In the introductory class, students explore the five areas of civic engagement—education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, social justice, and global outreach—through case studies, historical examples, and current events. They also listen to guest speakers and are introduced to the Service Scholar Award program.

Service learning classes are usually three credits and are offered in nearly every discipline at Snow College (service learning classes can be identified on Badger Web online registration by the ‘SL’ designation in the margin). These classes allow students to apply what they learn through service projects in the community.

Brooks says that he recommends the Civic Engagement & Service Learning program for any student. Because the Service Scholar Award requires a high degree of commitment, it might not work for everyone. However, Brooks says, “The great thing about this program is that whatever students’ interest level is, there are always service learning classes in their discipline, and there is also the Snow Service Club.” Both of these provide great opportunities by themselves. “Everyone can and will learn something from this experience and they will come out of it with a broadened mind and skills that are applicable in everyday life,” says Sloan.

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