UNA OFFERS CLASS IN SERVICE LEARNING
May 20, 2008
FLORENCE, Ala. – Swinging a hammer hasn’t always been a way to earn university credit hours. But that’s exactly how one group of University of North Alabama students will spend valuable class time this summer.
Service Learning 101, being offered in June, will be a two-part course, beginning in the classroom and then moving to the building site for the solar-powered Habitat for Humanity home. The solar-powered home is a project recently spearheaded by students of the UNA Habitat chapter.
“We’ll look at various philosophies of service-learning and consider how we fit into the various communities in which we live,” said Virginia Grant, who will teach the course.
Grant, who ordinarily teaches English at UNA, said that although the class is not specific to one discipline, there has been a need for the class because “more of these students will be involved in service like this the rest of their lives once they know how to do it.”
Cynthia Burkhead, a UNA professor and advisor to the university’s Habitat chapter, said that, in her experience, UNA students are very service-minded but just need to “find an outlet.”
“It’s hard for one person to say, ‘I’m going to find some service to do,’” Burkhead said, “but when you’re part of a group, you’re more comfortable. That’s one of the reasons classes like this and opportunities through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity are so valuable.”
In addition to Service Learning 101, UNA students will also have the opportunity to take Service Learning 499, an upper-level independent study course that enables participants to apply their fields of study in service-oriented ways.