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Campus Bulletin

March 06, 2006

Community Service-Learning Symposium Set

Encouraging U of G students to combine their classroom learning with community service is the goal of a March 8 symposium. All sessions and displays will be in or just outside Room 103 of the University Centre.

Organized by the Community Service-Learning Program, the “Learning Through Service” symposium will provide information and first-hand accounts from students who have taken part in community service-learning initiatives while at U of G.

“Service-learning isn’t a new idea,” says Cheryl Rose, community service-learning specialist in the office of the provost. “It’s been a learning strategy in the United States for more than 20 years, but it’s relatively new to Canada and there has been considerable growth in the last few years.”

Rose, who is also executive director of the U of G-based Canadian Association for Community Service-Learning, says service-learning benefits not only students but also communities and smaller organizations that may not have the resources to address certain problems and issues.

A workshop titled “Building Partnerships, Placements and Programs” will provide information about community service-learning and effective steps and tools to designing courses and service placements.

Lunch, displays and a website launch will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The website will provide detailed information about the types of community service-learning the University is involved in and ways for community organizations, students, faculty and staff to get involved.

Students who have taken part in service-learning will speak about their experiences at 12:30 p.m. In addition, Karima Kara, a U of G graduate and co-ordinator of university and college programming for World University Service of Canada, will make a presentation about serving and learning in international placements through their “Students Without Borders” program.

The symposium closes with “Interact With the Action,” a look at which U of G courses and programs offer a service-learning component and a panel discussion with students, staff, faculty and representatives from the community. It begins at 2 p.m.

“It’s good to celebrate what we’re already doing and look at ways to expand that even further,” says Rose. “We want students and potential campus and community partners to be aware that this type of learning opportunity is available at Guelph and help them get involved.”

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