My Stance On Service-Learning
Professor Mary Garret
April 20, 2014
I believe that a full thirty hours of Service Learning should be an academic requirement to graduate from Eastern Florida State College. There are several reasons behind my view on this proposed requirement, most of which I believe are lucrative to reaching a better society.
To begin, I believe that Service-Learning helps one develop and hone their leadership skills. This world does and will always need leaders, and the young generation is next in line as the head of our society. These people need to be prepared to grab the baton from the previous generation and help fix and prevent many of the problems that previous generations have produced. If planned and executed properly, Service-Learning can become a useful means of creating leaders, as eloquently stated by the authors of “Leading through learning”, Ed Cohen and Priscilla Nelson, leaders of Nelson Cohen Global Consulting,“Long before any crisis begins, develop a plan that highlights exactly how to lead through learning by guiding behaviors and teaching critical skills. The plan must concentrate on coaching leaders, enhancing empathic listening skills, and providing guidelines for leading” (Cohen, Nelson). I wholeheartedly agree with their statement. Just where does one learn to become a leader? I feel that these skills should be honed during a very critical point in a college student's life; early adulthood. Service-Learning can help these potential future leaders learn how to work with and lead groups of people in an efficient manner as well as playing their part in making the decisions that can potentially affect thousands of lives and perhaps even help fix some of the social issues that America faces.
Service-learning generally places students in a temporary position of leadership at their service site, in which they'll have to adapt and react according to the situation(s) at hand. I believe that this also helps prepare the student(s) for the workforce and everyday activities that involve groups of people after they finish college. Service-Learning gives students the opportunity to apply what they've learned in class at their service site(s) – on real people – and grants them the experience of knowing how to communicate with others. Service-learning isn't just restricted to teaching leadership skills. Service-learning also gives students the opportunity to enrich the lives of others with what they've learned, or with what they already know, whether the students are aware of it or not. For example, as Kelly Millicent, a lecturer for Barry University expressed, “Students in an English writing class could provide free tutoring or proofreading sessions for new United States citizens with limited English language proficiency and then synthesize their experiences in a class journal” (83). With an influx of immigrants...