ERIC Number: ED410281
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Evaluating Outcomes of Service-Learning Courses at a Parochial College.
Fenzel, L. Mickey; Leary, Timothy P.
Many colleges and universities are using a service-learning paradigm to structure service learning experiences for their students to reinforce and enhance the understanding of course material. Two studies were undertaken at a parochial college to address the benefits to students who perform service as part of their curricular studies. In the first study, 28 students in an introductory philosophy course with a service and reflection component, and 28 comparisons in a course without service learning were compared. In the second study, 134 students in 6 classes completed questionnaires about service experience. Results demonstrate the difficulties of demonstrating benefits of service learning, but show that using comparison groups is a useful approach. Results from quantitative and qualitative analyses show that service learning has benefits for late adolescents, and that engaging in service learning may benefit older and younger students in different ways. Students in the service section of the first study did not report greater gains in attitudes toward personal and social responsibility, but they did appear to have more compassion toward the disadvantaged, more commitment to community work, and a greater belief that they could make a difference. The second study shows that performing service affects students and that the kinds of effects depend, at least in part, on the number, if not the types, of service experiences. Results also suggest that courses that include reflection as a central feature stimulate students' thinking about issues of justice and faith and can effect student decisions about postgraduate plans. (Contains 13 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Catholic Schools, Church Related Colleges, College Students, Comparative Analysis, Control Groups, Curriculum, Economically Disadvantaged, Evaluation Methods, Higher Education, Outcomes of Education, Qualitative Research, School Community Relationship, Service Learning, Student Attitudes, Student Participation
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A