Community partners with college to offer service learning

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Service learning partners will be on campus March 22.

By Sandy Cordell

Faculty can learn of service learning opportunities for their classes at an event March 22 to meet representatives of community organizations.

The event will be noon-1:30 p.m. in the employee lounge of Loftin Student Center.

Faculty members will be able to brainstorm and collaborate with community partners to learn more about service learning, Joseph Liedecke, coordinator of civic engagement, said Feb.25.

Service learning is an educational way to help in the community and meet society’s needs.

“Nonprofits benefit from the help of students as statistics show that the retention rates go up when students participate in service learning,” Liedecke said.“Students are taking what they learn in the classroom out into the community.”

The office of civic engagement has put together this opportunity to meet with some of the 31 community partners available for service learning.

“Service learning was a big part of the SAC culture about 10-12 years ago,” Liedecke said. “It went mostly dormant, but there are still some remnants, a few pockets of professors that are still doing their own thing with service learning.

“But we would like to bring it back to SAC and introduce it to other professors to make it part of SAC.”

Liedecke has been with this college three years. When he first started he put out feelers to find out who was still doing service learning. He found a few classes participating in something similar to service learning, but more like internships, he said.

Community partners like Ronald McDonald House are looking for volunteers to help at any of their four locations. The Ronald McDonald House provides temporary living accommodations for critically ill children and their families, according to the company’s website.

Chrysalis Ministries, 509 San Pedro Ave., helps equip and empower individuals and their families to overcome the consequences of incarceration.

“We help men and women that have been in jail. We help them when they get released. A lot of them don’t have ID or birth certificates. We also help them find a job,” Volunteer Coordinator Norma Cervantes said at service learning community meeting Feb 15.

Chrysalis is looking for volunteers to help with an upcoming event that provides Easter baskets and a $25 voucher for a pair of shoes for children of family members who have been incarcerated.

“There are so many positive things that you can get from service learning,” Liedecke said. “If a student is doing service learning at a nonprofit, it could turn into a paid position.”

For a list of over 30 community partners or more information, contact Liedecke at 210-486-0137 or


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