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ERIC Number: EJ823357
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1546
Engaging with Difference Matters: Longitudinal Student Outcomes of Co-Curricular Service-Learning Programs
Keen, Cheryl; Hall, Kelly
Journal of Higher Education, v80 n1 p59-79 Jan-Feb 2009
The potential contribution of co-curricular service-learning to develop engaged citizens is relatively unexplored. Much of the available research on college-level service-learning has studied the effect of service-learning in single courses on a variety of student outcome measures and there are at least two large, multi-campus studies of curricular service-learning. This article reports on analysis of longitudinal surveys completed at 23 liberal arts colleges by participants in four-year, co-curricular service-programs, collectively called the Bonner Scholar Program, sponsored by the Bonner Foundation. The study explores two research questions, (1) Does co-curricular service-learning have an impact on desired outcomes of the college experience, particularly an appreciation of diversity and of dialogue across boundaries of perceived difference?; and (2) Do characteristics of liberal arts colleges (specifically, more or less internationally-focused, faith-oriented, diverse, urban or "elite") increase the effects of participation in co-curricular service-learning on college outcomes? Results of the BSP surveys provided evidence of program outcomes over four years and program input factors influencing these outcomes. Two major findings are discussed. The first major finding centers on the developmental importance of dialogue across difference during all four college years. The second finding focuses on the positive effects of campus diversity and sustained service-learning on liberal arts campuses. This study's findings suggest that the core experience of service is not the service itself but the sustained dialogue across boundaries of perceived difference that happens during service and in reflection along the way, including with people students serve, with the people they serve alongside of, with their supervisors at the service site, with the college staff, and, centrally, with their peers. (Contains 2 tables and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A