3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Miss This Summer’s Seminar in Service Learning

 

  1. Your students are asking the hard questions, you need a community to support you to explore those questions

In the last eight months, staff and faculty from all over the country gathered for two intensive seminars with Dr. Tim Stanton critically exploring the field of service-learning.  These cohorts–with a wide range of perspectives and voices–supported each other through a variety of serious and troubling questions:  Should my team set up new programs based on university strategic goals without clear invitation from the partner community? Is mutual partnership possible when we as Westerners are working with hundreds of years of imperialism on our side? Is service-learning inherently political?  Dr. Stanton brings decades of experience exploring the ethics of service-learning both at home and abroad. His expertise allows him to hold space for honest questions and difficult conversations.  

  1. Growth takes investment, commitment, and focus. Start now and take it step by step.

Need that extra push to grow you programs, yet uncertain where to get that support on your campus for that growth? In addition to a prestigious learning community, this seminar will equip you with best practices, an academic overview of service-learning, applied learning in the field in Costa Rica, as well as time to set up a plan for how to bring back these learnings to your department. Dr. Stanton will mentor and coach you through your plan for 6 months after you return!  

  1. You learn by doing.

United Planet’s Seminar in Service Learning is an immersion experience. We build the curriculum in partnership with our in country partners. This is not a theoretical seminar, we dive right in and learn from partners and community members what best practices look like to them. This holistic approach to service-learning hearkens back to the origins of the field.  

Still not sure? Take a look at these testimonials from former seminar attendees:

“Transformative. Sometimes this word can be overused in our fields, but in this case there is no other word that could truly describe the effects of this seminar. The faculty and staff of the seminar provided a wealth of knowledge and experience, and ensured that no one was left behind regardless of their level of expertise or experience. The selection of the participants was just as excellent as the education received. The participants brought a wealth of expertise to the conversations and were just as much a part of the education process. I was amazed by how much I was able to learn in such a short time. The experiences in the field were incredible and help bring home how much is gained by having an organization like United Planet to work with in this process. The relationships demonstrated by the partners and the United Planet staff was an incredible testimony to the lessons learned in the class. There have been few experience in my life where I was able to learn about the material being presented, and feel prepared to put it into action immediately while at the same time create long-term goals to pursue as well. I would recommend this experience to anyone. The classroom experience provided an incredible amount of material and the historical context behind the movement. Despite my previous experience in the field, I learned so much from every module. Coupled with the field experiences it made the learning deeper and richer. In the end the only word that can be used to describe the experience remains transformative.” – Matthew Connie Little, University of North Alabama, Ecuador 2016

The ISL Seminar provided a space for practitioners in the field to collaborate and discuss best practices in regard to the ethical, reciprocal, and meaningful implementation of service-learning. The relationships formed between participants are ongoing, and will continue to strengthen our collective work in the field of service-learning as we build partnerships locally and globally. – Kathleen Von Euw, Manhattan College, Ecuador 2016

In a phrase, this seminar far exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend this seminar to faculty and staff who are engaged in, or interested in engaging learning service-learning. This seminar is truly a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts. Those parts were a 1) seminar on the history of service-learning and approaches to consider that provide academic rigor from a long-time leader in the field, Dr. Tim Stanton; 2) seminar in best-practices in the field and the ‘nuts and bolts’ to program development and implementation from United Planet’s Executive Director, Theresa Higgs and Ecuador country director, Pablo Proano; 3) site visits to local partners; and 4) an extraordinary collection of seminar participants that provided rich discussion and network opportunities. I left the conference with new ideas to implement both in the short and long term. This is been time very well spent. – Francile Elrod, Washington & Lee University, Ecuador 2016

Tracy Bindel, Partnerships Manager

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