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ERIC Number: ED479696
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Aug
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Learning Political Engagement from the Experts: Advocacy Groups, Neighborhood Councils, and Constituency Service.
Freyss, Siegrun Fox
This paper describes an uncommon approach to service learning. The students in a class at California State University Los Angeles are placed with experts of the political advocacy process, not with charitable nonprofits. Making use of a variety of organizations located in the greater Los Angeles region, the course offers students the opportunity to volunteer either (1) in the regional office of an interest group, (2) at the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment of the City of Los Angeles, or (3) in constituency service at the district office of an elected official. To demonstrate points of access to the political system to disaffected young people, the service-learning component is integrated in one section of the basic U.S. and state government course, a general education requirement for all college graduates in the state of California. The students' favorable ratings of the course when it was first offered in fall 2001 and in winter 2003 confirm the appropriateness of the approach. Service learning is supposed to encourage lifelong civic engagement. The results of a questionnaire given to students at the end of the quarter show overwhelming success in that respect. Of 24 students, 91.6% liked the course and would recommend it, or highly recommend it to others. Also, 79.2% were likely, or very likely, to do volunteer work in the future for the organization where they completed their service learning project, and 91.7% were likely, or very likely, to do volunteer work in the future for another organization. Includes 15 tables. Contains 15 references. Appended are a course syllabus and the survey questionnaire. (Author/BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A