Every year the Center for Community Engagement hosts a Tips and Trends in Service-Learning faculty workshop. Faculty from many different departments at Sonoma State as well as the College of Marinand other local universities were in attendance this year. The workshop discusses how to completely begin or strengthen a professor's current use of service-learning. We discussed why we dedicated our lives to the common good and how service-learning fits into that commitment. Service-learning in different disciplines, building relationships with community partners, and creating strong reflective analysis activities were some topics that were also covered.
Aja LaDuke, a new SSU faculty member in the Literacy Studies and Elementary Education department said, "I'm very interested in figuring out how to implement service-learning into our Multiple Subject Credential Program because I think it would greatly help our future teachers."
As a student, attending Tips and Trends was surprisingly beneficial. I have only taken one service-learning course, Foundations of Leadership, but the workshop inspired me to register for another! I think it's useful for students to understand why they're learning what they're learning in class. There's no better way to show your textbook in action than completing a service-learning project. The workshop opened my eyes to how much dedication service-learning takes on the professor's end. It made me appreciate every professor that uses service-learning as a pedagogy and I encourage other professors to seriously consider teaching it.
SSU Alum and former service-learning student Gustavo Vasquez reflected on the workshop as being helpful to him because, "It taught me about the academic side of service-learning that I've never thought about before, which was very interesting." Gustavo is now an AmeriCorps VISTA service Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County. He hopes to use what he learned about service-learning in his work by encouraging students to continue their learning outside of the classroom by volunteering for local nonprofits.
Even though Tips and Trends is an annual event that covers the same topics, there's always something new to learn. Johnna Edmunds from the Department of Nursing exclaimed at the end, "This workshop gets better and better every year, that's why I keep coming back!"