Brookhaven College

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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, October 20, 2011

Service-Learning Gets Great Review

Service-Learning Gets Great Review

Iris Ortiz supplied one of the recipes that was
converted into a healthier meal in the cookbook
created for Head Start parents and funded by the
service-learning grant.

Two years ago, the service-learning program at Brookhaven College received a three-year grant to fund efforts to end childhood obesity. Federal budget cuts eliminated the funding for year three, but members of the American Association of Community Colleges were interested to see what had been done with funds so far.

In their efforts, the AACC also began gathering information about service-learning programs, studying the connection between service-learning and college completion rates. The college is one of the institutions supplying data.

Andrew Deibert, service learning coordinator, and Oscar Lopez, vice president for enrollment management and student success, met with two representatives from the project: Gail Robinson from the AACC, and Mary Prentice from New Mexico State University. They spoke with two of the community agencies the college partnered with for service-learning programs, as well as Alexandria Jarrett, Richard Brevig, Luana Lamb and Seth Vertucci, four students who took part in service-learning in the spring.

Both Robinson and Prentice were impressed with the focus group discussions and with the students. They have offered to pay for Andrew to attend the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in Chicago, Nov. 2-4.

Service-Learning Success

Approximately 270 students and staff connected with local nonprofit agencies during the Service Agency Fair on Sept. 15. Attendees learned the needs of the community and discovered service-learning opportunities.

Travis Masters, the representative from New Century Hospice, got his start with the organization after completing his service-learning hours there, said Andrew.

Masters, who graduated from the Brookhaven College Nursing Department, was at the fair to recruit other students to get involved, Andrew said.

Angela Nelson, Brookhaven College student, is currently completing service-learning hours with Hospice Plus and was at the fair to help recruit.

“I was impressed with the number of faculty and staff who stopped by to support the fair. I have been to other service fairs and the support is not as great as it is here,” Nelson said. “Makes me proud to be a student at BHC.”