Since its inception in 2006, stemming from the rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Katrina, Delgado Community College's Service-Learning Initiative has worked to better ensure emergency preparedness, homeland security, and community engagement in the greater New Orleans area. In its fourth year running, the Delgado Service-Learning Program seeks to build a sustainable office at the college as not only its Program team grows, but also the number of participating faculty and students.
In the summer of 2006, Delgado’s Service Learning Initiative began with start-up funds from the Accent on Students Success: Engaged Together in Service (ASSETS) grant provided by the Community College National Center for Community Engagement. Starting in the fall of that year, faculty were trained to develop and implement projects that applied course material to an activity that provided a much-needed service. To date, over 60 Delgado instructors have participated in the faculty fellowship training series, which focused on research in service learning, syllabus design, community outreach, assessment, and reflection activities. More than students have participated in a variety of service learning projects and over 40 non-profit agencies have benefited from their efforts. Disciplines involved have included Biology, Sociology, Allied Health, Math, Business, Marketing, Horticulture, History, Nursing, English, Music, Mass Communications, Television Production, Veterinary Technology, Interior Design and Architecture. Many students have served those in and around the New Orleans metro area, working with placement sites such as Habitat for Humanity, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Council on Aging, and the public school system. Other students have done the majority of their service while on campus, such as developing advertising campaigns, transcribing oral histories, producing public service videos, and developing design plans for public areas.
Perhaps you've heard the buzz about Service Learning at Delgado Community College. The Fall 2010 semester saw many great projects, bringing together courses from across the disciplines in service to Delgado and to the community at large. This Fall semester, nearly 500 students from multiple academic divisions gained personal and professional experiences due to unique community partnerships by putting their coursework into action. Over 150 faculty hours and nearly 800 student hours were given, resulting in $1720 in fundraising and nearly $3,000 in direct services to the community (using the 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics value of a service hour of $20.85).
Professor Jenny Louis' speech class partnered with the Arc of Great New Orleans to test out interactive, informative presentations for their clients, covering topics such as health facts, regional weather differences, and ways to recycle.
Horticulture students in Professor Bettie Abbate's classes have joined efforts to restore the wetlands. Collaborating with the LSU AgCenter, students have been propagating wetlands grasses at City Park's Pelican Greenhouse and made a trip out to Grand Isle to replant them in their natural habitats.
Students in Honors Abnormal Psychology classes taught by Professor Brett Heintz worked with Crossroads Louisiana, Inc. to help kick off gender-specific support groups that address self-esteem and personal hygiene for individuals with mild mental retardation and mental illnesses. In addition, students set up information tables in the Arts and Humanities corridor to educate their peers on Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.
Professor Victor Mirzai's Architectural/ Design Construction Technology students worked collaboratively with Delgado's library staff to create prototype designs for the college's new library. Some students of Professor Mirzai's course also received top awards at the American Institute of Architects' CANstruction New Orleans Competition. This fifth-year-running partnership has donated over 20,000 cans to of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana.
In Introduction to Public Relations taught by Professor Susan Hague, students worked in partnership with The Beautiful Foundation, an organization that builds self-esteem by providing mentors to girls aged 10 and 11. Prior to visiting the program at the SJ Green Charter School during "Friendship Week" and meeting the young girls, the students from the MSCM 111 course wrote to pen pals in the program. The public relations team also raised funds for the foundation that will be used to purchase art supplies, journals, snacks and other program supplies.
A unique partnership was formed between Professor Sean David Hobbs' English as a Second Language Intermediate II Conversation students and Delgado's TV Production students under the direction of Professor Lynn Robertson. ESL students learn the art of good storytelling in English and put their learned skills into practice while TV production students film their presentations. The film will be shown through a collaboration with the community organization, LatiNOLA.
Professor Melanie Deffendall's Marriage and Family class collected clothing, schools supplies and athletic equipment for the Social, Education, and Athletic Club (SEAC). They have also partnered with an assisted living faculty in the old Flint-Goodridge Hospital to fund raise for a new bingo set and prizes. Students also helped run the game.
For three years running, accumulating over 2,000 service hours and over $10,000, the combined efforts of Management, Business, Marketing, Horticulture and Mass Communication classes promoted a 50/50 raffle fundraiser to "Restore Our Pond", a Delgado Community College beautification project.
On the Northshore, Professors John Guess (Business) and Charles Findon (Philosophy) brought together their classrooms in a partnership with the Northshore Foodbank. Professor Guess' business course developed brochures for the Foodbank while Professor Findon's class helped to stock and distribute food.
Faculty, community agencies, and environmental advocates are cordially invited to attend a regional conference hosted by Delgado Community College on Friday, January 28, 2011. The one-day conference will focus on service-learning initiatives in environmental awareness and will address environmental concerns facing the Gulf Coast region and the response of higher education and community colleges in particular. Kicking off the event will be a keynote address by musician and co-narrator of "Hurricane on the Bayou", Miss Amanda Shaw.
The day will include an environmentally-focused panel of faculty and representatives from diverse community and environmental agencies, a subject-specific breakout session, and lunch prepared by Delgado's own culinary students. Made possible by a grant from the American Association of Community Colleges and Learn & Serve America, "The Environmental Classroom: Awareness & Restoration Through Service Learning" aims to address a variety of environmental issues and provide ideas to involve classrooms and agencies in creating solutions.
In the Fall 2010, the seeds of the Community Care Initiative were planted. The efforts to institutionalize service learning in the Allied Health Programs will build a stronger connection between students, the community, and the course material. According to a United Way report on healthcare in New Orleans, the lack of access to high-quality, affordable healthcare is attributable to three factors: the continued closure of major health providers in the city, a widespread lack of health insurance coverage, and the overburdened/ under-resourced state and remaining public health service agencies. The Community Care Initiative (CCI) is aimed at alleviating the impact of the latter two of these contributing factors.
Funded by a three-year, Learn & Serve America grant, the initiative teams up with key community partners in the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum and Kingsley House. Both organizations have committed to training students on health program eligibility and Patient-Centered Medical Homes. In addition to the training, students will be given the opportunity to bolster their resumes with leadership training and opportunities.
The first three participating programs include: Opthalmic Medical Assistants, Occupational Therapy Assistants, and Registered Dietetic Technicians. Students from each program will contribute a percentage of their clinical rotation hours to an organization serving low-income or uninsured populations.
The initiative is set to operate for the spring semester and expand during the next three years. If you are interested in learning more about the Community Care Initiative or if you are interested in participating, please contact Program Director, Linda Kieffer, at email@example.com or Program Coordinator, Matthew Sweeney, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: (504)671.5298.
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A major leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to ending racial segregation and discrimination through non-violent means. In 1994, Congress declared Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a National Day of Service. Each year, the Corporation for National and Community Service connects individuals and groups to service activities on the third Monday of January to strengthen communities, empower individuals, and to bridge barriers to civic engagement. Visit www.mlkday.gov to learn more.
This year, Delgado Community College is the recipient of twelve grant positions through the AmeriCorps program, Students in Service. Delgado students commit 300 hours of direct service to the community over the course of the year and are awarded a scholarship reward for completing their terms of service.
Students Kimrey Allen, Casey Coleman, Anthony (Tony) Cox, Christina Harris, Jamie Schroeder, and Gary Weed are the first to enroll as members of the Students In Service program. Horticulture students, Schroeder, and Weed will be working in the Pelican Greenhouse, propagating wetlands plans, while Cox is volunteering at the Arc of Greater New Orleans, working on landscaping and greenhouse projects. Allen, also a Horticulture student, spends her time at the Pelican Greenhouse and with Parkway Partners, planting trees and plant beds for the community.
One can find students Coleman and Harris at the New Orleans Museum of Art, working with the Museum's education department.
Look out for "Great Stories" from these AmeriCorps members as they share their experiences engaged in community service.
There are six spaces left in the Students in Service AmeriCorps program! The deadline for enrollment is February 1. If you are interested in volunteering about six hours a week of direct service to the community to earn an education reward, please contact Angie Lorenzo at (504) 671-5298.
Adding a service component to a course curriculum can seem a daunting task to faculty that have never implemented the teaching strategy. The Service-Learning Brown Bag Lunch Series seeks to support faculty in their professional development as service-learning practitioners by offering resources, further training, and opportunities to meet and build partnerships with community organizations. For more information please contact the Office of Service Learning (504)671-5298.
On November 10, Delgado Service Learning hosted its annual Fall Community Service Fair. Representatives from 28 area non-profit and community organizations came to talk to students and faculty about internship and volunteer opportunities and potential service-learning projects. Faculty interested in getting involved in a project can attend the Spring Convocation Breakout Session, Monday January 10, 2011. The Program Team will present potential projects for faculty from across the disciplines to get involved.
Answer: painless operation