Service Learning Essay

1624 words - 7 pages

Volunteering can be used as a punishment, a requirement, or it can be the greatest reward someone can receive. One of the simplest pleasures in life can often be reached by lending a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. As group, we worked to reach that hand a little further and explore the possibility of making service learning available through the School of Social Work. Although Rhode Island College offers a sociology class focused on working with children in Ecuador, we wanted to explore other options both within the United State and abroad. Social Work will always involve helping others, regardless of which expertise someone chooses for their focus. As Social Workers we all ...view middle of the document...

Kirst- Ashman & Hull state that working in groups can “offer a much greater likelihood that a problem can be solved”(2012,94). Our group worked very well together after our initial meeting. At first I was very nervous and did not see a possibility of success within our group because we all had different ideas of how to meet the goal. Once our group set these roles in place, our process became much more successful.
The next piece to successful change is our client system, or the school of social work. This opportunity has the ability to be a life changing experience to those who participate and can ultimately help student determine if the social work field is right for them. This is when we decided to open the opportunity to anyone who is interested in joining the social work field not just those already within the program. Our target system, the Dean, Scott Mueller, and Professor Jill Harrison, needed to be persuaded into joining our team and become part of our action system. In the end, our action system involved our group, as well as Professor Jill Harrison. We were the individuals who work towards creating the change (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2012, p. 11).
Fortunately for us, we had an upper hand in this proposed change. Jill has already been very committed to involving the School of Social Work with her service learning trip run through the sociology program. This made our possibility of success much high than it would have been without the support of a faculty member. Jill had already been working to coordinate a meeting with Scott to meet to discuss the possibility of service learning within the school. Working with her gave us the opportunity to meet with Scott, who was also right on board and made our project very successful. Scott is involved in many different organizations and is not always the easiest man to plan a meeting worth. Having Jill involved made the process of getting this meeting much easier than it could have been on our own. Without her support I believe our outcome would have been much different. As you have said many times in class, if you go to people who have a ability to make change the change is more likely to happen. While we did not use state representatives, we did look for someone who had a little more pull than we did on our own.
Although it was possible to get some faculty members on board with our proposal, it is much harder to get other individuals involved. As a group we decided to also reach out to the Dean due to her ability to add this into the curriculum. Working on the proposal to the Dean caused for many road blocks for our group. It was difficult to decide how much information to give, what to hold back, and what should be left up to her to decide. This change involves not only physical commitment but also a financial commitment from both the school and the students. This financial commitment could have caused for our proposal to be denied immediately. To solve this problem, we determined our...

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