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About Service Learning

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Become a volunteer in your community and make a difference in the world around you!

Click the link to see a movie about Service LearningWhat is Service Learning Video

Young children learning

Los Angeles Valley College's Service Learning Program links students as volunteers with volunteer opportunities (PDF). Through volunteer service, students gain valuable practical experience that can be related to any class. Many Valley College instructors incorporate Service Learning into their courses enhancing opportunities for learning, while allowing students to gain hands-on work experience in the community. Most requirements are about 15 to 20 hours of volunteer service per semester. Students must also maintain a "reflection journal," challenging them to think, write, and talk critically about (and thereby learn from) their experiences.

 

Benefits to You

  • Greater understanding of course work. Service learning provides examples of real life application of classroom knowledge.
  • Connection to college is strengthened, increasing the likelihood of remaining in school and achieving educational goals.
  • Provides opportunities for career exploration and workforce training.
  • Opportunity to develop leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Fosters cultural awareness and diversity.
  • Increases self-esteem and critical thinking skills.
  • Volunteer service can be included in college applications and employment resumes.

Benefits to Faculty

  • Relevancy of course material to working world encourages students to remain in class.
  • The program communicates regularly with service sites and informs faculty of student status, success and problems.
  • Provides reflective learning tools and suggested feedback to maximize learning through service.
  • Questionnaires evaluate service and learning outcomes.

Benefits to Los Angeles Valley College

  • Bringing diverse individuals together sharpens Valley College visibility.
  • Encouragement of civic responsibility focuses on social needs.
  • Greater student connection to the college increases retention rate.
  • New students will be attracted to LAVC.

Benefits to Community Agencies

  • The Program publicizes agency service opportunities.
  • Students are referred directly to agencies.
  • Agencies are consulted about service learning placements and service site satisfaction.
  • Follow-up is provided by written and oral communications.
  • An annual Focus Group Meeting is provided for all agencies and LAVC faculty for continual assessment of program.

 

Volunteer Opportunities:

 

Whatever your interests, you can make a difference. Your services are needed in a variety of areas:

 

Youth Programs

  • Assists with tutorial/mentor programs
  • Work in day care programs.
  • Help in gang prevention programs.

Homeless

  • Assist in homeless shelters.

Senior Service

  • Visit homebound, isolated seniors.

Housing Programs

  • Work with programs that provide affordable housing and services to low-income families.

Health Programs

  • Work on programs that provide health education to local schools and the community.
  • Deliver food and visit AIDS patients.

Literacy

  • Help children learn to read.

Political involvement

  • Work on policy manuals outlining issues facing the San Fernando Valley.
  • Assists with voter registration.

Environment

  • Assist with water, forest, and wildlife protection.
  • Work with local animal shelters and pet adoption agencies.

How to Get Started

  • Step One - Find an instructor willing to integrate Service Learning into their course for extra credit.
  • Step Two - Make an apt in the counseling dept with Rick Brossman.
  • Step Three - Download the student application packet (DOC file), complete the first two pages and submit to Mr. Brossman. Review volunteer opportunities and set up an interview with an appropriate agency. Bring the third page of the application packet---the Placement Form--- to the interview and sign. Ask the supervisor and your instructor to sign as well and return to Mr. Brossman.
  • Step Four - Interview with selected community agencies regarding length of service, duties, and training.
  • Step Five - Return verification of hours to Mr. Brossman at the end of service.
  • Step Six - Submit reflection journal/paper about volunteer experience to instructor.

For more info, see Mr. Rick Brossman in the Counseling Department (818) 947-2642.