ERIC Number: ED500798
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Service Learning in Community Colleges: 2003 National Survey Results. Research Brief. AACC-RB-03-01
Prentice, Mary; Robinson, Gail; McPhee, Sara
American Association of Community Colleges (NJ1)
The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) conducted a survey in 2003 to gauge the level of service learning involvement in community colleges across the nation. Service learning combines classroom instruction with community service, focusing on critical, reflective thinking as well as personal and civic responsibility. Service learning programs involve students in activities that address local, community-identified needs while developing their academic skills and commitment to their community. This research brief summarizes the findings from that survey and reveals a snapshot of institutional and programmatic involvement during a time of state budget shortfalls and significant cutbacks in education programs. The 2003 survey included many of the same questions asked in 1995 and 1997 AACC national surveys, in an attempt to record the change or growth in service learning programs. The following highlights emerged from the survey responses: (1) Nine out of 10 colleges responding to the survey either offer or are interested in service learning; (2) Seventy-two percent of colleges that offer service learning include it in social science disciplines and many also include it in education, science, health, and languages; (3) Seventy-six percent of colleges with service learning indicated that it is a course requirement, but usually for only a small number of courses; (4) On average, colleges that provide service learning offer it in 18 different courses annually and involve 424 students in service learning projects; (5) Colleges have an average of 14 full-time and six part-time faculty teaching courses with service learning components; (6) Most faculty participate in service learning because of personal commitment and mentoring by other faculty; (7) Service learning programs are most often administered by a service learning director or coordinator or by individual faculty members in different disciplines; and (8) Most colleges rely on institutional funds to implement service learning initiatives, or other areas of support such as the Corporation for National and Community Service and Federal Work-Study funds. The report concludes that, as reported by respondents to the 2003 survey, service learning appears to be healthy, and growth is being sustained, even in times of financial crisis. While areas for improvement will always remain, service learning seems to be an important part of the climate of the community colleges represented in this study. Suggested resources, both print and online, are included. (Contains 26 figures.)
Descriptors: Community Colleges, Service Learning, National Surveys, Annual Reports, School Involvement, Mail Surveys, Program Administration, Program Evaluation, Institutional Characteristics, School Community Programs, Professional Associations, Educational Indicators, Educational Assessment
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site: http://www.aacc.nche.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: Corporation for National and Community Service, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Association of Community Colleges, Washington, DC.