To provide a snapshot of the many impressive manifestations of community-engaged learning at the University of San Francisco, a 2014-2015 Faculty Learning Community (FLC), supported by the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE), has collected the following profiles of selected faculty members across all the schools and colleges.
This report was prepared by members of the CTE’s Faculty Learning Community on Community-Engaged Learning:
Kevin D. Lo, Facilitator (School of Management), Emma Fuentes (School of Education), David Holler (College of Arts and Sciences), Tim Iglesias (School of Law), Susan Roberta Katz (School of Education), Star Moore (Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good), Chenit Ong-Flaherty (School of Nursing and Health Professions), Jennifer Parlamis (School of Management) Susan Pauly-O’Neill (School of Nursing and Health Professions).
Our intent with this report is to offer USF administrators and incoming faculty members a sense of what’s being done well in community-engaged learning (CEL), while also pointing out what challenges remain as we establish our identity as a university that prioritizes community engagement. (Incidentally, we prefer the term “community-engaged learning” to “service-learning,” which we feel more precisely defines the scope of our activities. For more about this designation, please see the Executive Report on Community Engaged Learning issued by this same committee in June 2015.)
Community-engaged learning as defined by Eyler and Giles is “a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students . . . seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves. In the process, students link personal and social development with academic and cognitive development . . . experience enhances understanding; understanding leads to more effective action.” (qtd. in Bandy, Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, “What Is Service Learning or Community Engagement?”).
We invited at least two faculty members from each school/college to answer several questions about the application of CEL in their courses. After providing a brief overview of activities in each course, we asked each professor what works well and what challenges persist.
The successes and the challenges, as you’ll see, vary widely, and yet they clearly delineate, limited though our present sample size is, the great variety and energy and commitment our faculty have demonstrated in working with community partners and students.
It is our hope that this report is merely the beginning of a much more ambitious project to be taken up by the McCarthy Center which will provide many more profiles of professors in the months and years to come.
Lo, Kevin D.; Fuentes, Emma; Holler, David; Iglesias, Tim; Katz, Susan Roberta; Moore, Star; Ong-Flaherty, Chenit; Parlamis, Jennifer D.; Pauly-O’Neill, Susan; De Natale, Mary Lou; Selix, Nancy; Maniates, Helen; Geevargis, Nira; Vu, Monalisa; Dibble, Rebekah; Maier, Thomas A.; Brahinsky, Rachel; Dowling, Amie; Wachtel, Seth; Knafelc, Kara; and Sears, Stephanie, "Profiles in Community-Engaged Learning" (2015). McCarthy Center Faculty Publications. Paper 12.