Universities Receive Awards for Service-Learning

BATON ROUGE – On Monday, August 9, the University of Louisiana System recognized each of its eight universities for outstanding service-learning efforts over the past four years.  The awards program was part of a capstone conference in Baton Rouge celebrating the end of a $1.2 million federal grant.

“Service-learning is one of the best examples of how campus-community partnerships enrich both parties in ways you cannot easily measure.  The work that has taken place over the past four years is admirable and worthy of recognition,” said UL System Board of Supervisors Chair Winfred Sibille who presented the awards.

In 2006, the UL System received a $1.2 million grant from the Corporation for National Community Service’s Learn and Serve America division.  The focus of the grant program was to implement service-learning programs at the eight universities for hurricane recovery and disaster preparedness.

Over the four years, 79 campus projects engaged a total of 15,377 college students; 1,049 faculty and staff and 405 community partners in 143,886 hours of service.

Projects infused community service with classroom work in the following areas: agriculture, architecture, communications, education/mentoring, environmental sciences, family and consumer sciences, fine arts, foreign language, health and exercise science, historic preservation, information technology, mathematics and science, nursing, social sciences, psychology and social service.  Additionally, there were several student-driven projects.

Below is a breakdown of funded projects by campus:

  • Grambling State University: 7
  • Louisiana Tech University: 12
  • McNeese State University: 7
  • Nicholls State University: 8
  • Northwestern State University: 8
  • Southeastern Louisiana University: 8
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette: 18
  • University of Louisiana at Monroe: 11

Full project descriptions can be found in the ULS Serves Service-Learning Report online at https://www.ulsystem.edu/assets/docs/searchable/grant/service_report%20final2.pdf.

As a complement to the printed service-learning report, the UL System unveiled a new video report at Monday’s conference.  The video, which is broken down by campus, is available to view on the UL System’s YouTube site, www.youtube.com/ulsystem.

In addition to highlighting campus programs, the video shares real-world impacts and the value that service adds to the academic experience.

Why is service-learning important?  Video participants believe service-learning…

  • “Builds character;”
  • “Teaches an awareness of the community;”
  • “Teaches communication skills;”
  • “Builds a bridge between the classroom and community;”
  • “is exhilarating;” and
  • “is awesome!”

The work of the past four years reinforces that “service-learning is an integral part of the University of Louisiana System,” said UL System President Randy Moffett.