SERVICE LEARNING & ACADEMIC INITIATIVES

From mentoring initiatives to internships to academic courses, our staff work hard to provide YOU meaningful community based learning opportunities.  We strengthen the community through building, sharing and empowering.

If you would like more information on how to get INVOLVED in service-learning or community-based learning efforts, please see opportunities listed on the Student, Faculty/Staff or Community pages.

Get Involved

There are many opportunities for students to follow their passion of service while at TCU. Below you will find information on our signature programs: Fort Worth Fellows, Public Service Consulting Corps, Academic Service-Learning Courses, Model UN and the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine partnership.

Community Conversations – Come learn more about Fort Worth neighborhoods.  This series will bring speakers to discuss the strengths and challenges of our local communities and will provide ideas for those who want to engage with community partners to bring about positive change.

Dates and Topics

  • October 11 – United Way Assessment and Priorities for Tarrant County
  • October 18- Como Neighborhood:  Strengths, Challenges and How to Serve
  • October 25 – Northside/Diamond Hill Neighborhoods:  Strengths, Challenges and How to Serve
  • November 1- Stop Six/Eastside Neighborhoods:  Strengths, Challenges and How to Serve
  • November 8- Las Vegas Trail: Neighborhood:  Strengths, Challenges and How to Serve

Location and time – Ballroom C & D, BLUU – 6-7 pm

RSVP https://forms.gle/wg3R3DPJCHyam4uP7

 

Public Service Consulting Corps

In order to encourage students to grow as civically engaged leaders and build capacity within non-profit organizations serving the Fort Worth community, the office of Service-Learning, in collaboration with the Center for Career and Professional Development, has created the Public Service Consulting Corps Program. This internship program provides a select group of students the opportunity to take part in a unique academic two-semester internship experience at a non-profit.

By participating in the program, students will be eligible to apply for a scholarship ( up to $1200) each semester they contribute a minimum of 150 hours, and will have the opportunity to develop and enhance their professional development skills, as well as expand their professional network. As part of the Corps, students will receive support from an on-site supervisor, and they will also meet with an Office for Community Engagement Advisor on campus. Additionally, all Corps members will come together once a month to network, share their experiences, and reflect on their learning.

To become a member of the Corps in the next academic year, students must apply by May 10, interview with TCU staff and potential community sites and be selected by an internship host organization. All selected students will be notified by the end of the Spring semester.

PS Corps Magazine 2021

 

Corps Member Requirements:

  • Work 150 hours a semester. (appx. 10-15 hrs a week) during the fall and spring semesters.
    ° With site supervisor permission, some hours may occur off-site.
  • Complete one program on-campus in the fall semester to raise awareness about their internship site or site’s area of focus.
    ° Programs/projects can include organizing student volunteers from campus to participate in an agency event.
  • Attend monthly Corps meetings.
  • Meet bi-monthly with their assigned OCE advisor.
  • Work in collaboration with site supervisor to develop a legacy project for the organization.
  • Complete an end of semester and end of year evaluation.

Apply HERE

FORT WORTH FELLOWS

Build your legacy, network with community/city leaders, and join a select group of first and second year students dedicated to social change.

Fellowship Overview

Basics: Two-Semester cohort model Weekly meetings at TCU Opportunities for community & civic engagement Open to first and second year students Participants will: Develop a personal philosophy of service and leadership Gain an understanding of social issues affecting the Fort Worth community Examine root causes of social inequity Explore asset-based model of community development Network with community leaders working towards social equity Acquire skills and knowledge related to effecting social change Create personal plan for developing as a civic leader

To better prepare students for their roles as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in a global community, the Fort Worth Fellows program seeks to provide students with an introduction to community engagement and public service.

Apply here 

Overview:

Fort Worth Fellows is a unique, cohort based program in which students learn about the social issues impacting Fort Worth, examine strategies to promote social justice,  connect with non-profit organizations, community  and city leaders, and contribute to social change through advocacy and service.

Core Expectations:

Attend our mini retreat date TBA
Attend and actively participate in weekly cohort meetings
Meet monthly with Fellows advisers to individualize future involvement and discuss progress
Complete a minimum of 10 hours of service per semester individually or with interest group formed in class
Participate in 2 service events a semester with entire Fellows cohort
Attend at least 2 civic engagement opportunities of your choosing per semester (can be events on campus, documentary screenings, city events, meetings, etc.)
Complete 1 reflection per semester
Remain in good academic & disciplinary standing
Speaking of which the dates for this semester are:

For more information on Fort Worth Fellows, please contact Rosangela Boyd at r.boyd@tcu.edu

ACADEMIC SERVICE-LEARNING

Academic Service-Learning is a pedagogy based on the principles of experiential education, which integrates community service with academic study. Faculty, in collaboration with representatives from community organizations, design service projects that enhance student learning and help meet community needs. Through structured reflection, students consider relationships between the service experience, the academic content of the class, and its impact on their personal values and professional goals.

A growing number of departments and programs currently utilize service-learning, some having sought the assistance of Community Engagement in building community partnerships, while others developed projects independently.  Our office works continuously to develop a comprehensive list of service-learning courses based on information by faculty members.

Want to learn how to link your college degree to nonprofit careers? Click here!

If you want to find out more about SL courses offered at TCU, contact us at oce@tcu.edu.

MODEL UN

The award-winning Model United Nations program at TCU is a joint program of Leadership & Student Involvement and the Department of Political Science. It offers students the opportunity to simulate the workings of the United Nations as representatives of one of the member-states of the UN. In their capacity as delegates to Model UN conferences, students research the policies of their designated country on a variety of topics, including international trade and development, terrorism, international conflict, weapons of mass destruction, human rights, and the environment. Participation in conferences also helps students to improve their negotiating, public speaking and writing skills.

Participation in this program is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about the issues confronting the world in which they live from diverse perspectives. If you have any questions, please contact Eric Cox at e.cox@tcu.edu or visit Department of Political Science.

Meaningful community engagement is critical for the School of Medicine. Community-oriented partnerships bring together academic institutions, neighborhood organizations, health service providers, businesses, philanthropic supporters and governments in an unprecedented manner to launch joint ventures aimed at addressing critical health care needs.  Our office is playing a vital role in developing and strengthening community connections as the School of Medicine strives to educate Empathetic Scholars.

Our staff provide support to faculty and staff members interested in community service as a means to foster learning, growth and commitment to social justice.

Title:  Honoring Diverse Ways of Knowing: Decentering Dominant Narratives in Service-Learning Utilizing Community Cultural Wealth

Date and Time: October 29th – 3:00 to 5:00 pm

Presenters: Dr. Cathy Avila-Linn & Kristina Barger

Biographies:

CATHY AVILA-LINN
Leadership Coach • Consultant • Facilitator
www. cathyavilalinn.com

Cathy Avila-Linn specializes in social justice education, organizational development, and leadership coaching. Since 2006, Cathy’s consulting practice has supported hundreds of clients in the areas of organizational effectiveness, strategic planning, leadership, equity, and personal development. Cathy works with individuals and teams to discover creative, culturally appropriate strategies to advance the development of individuals, teams and organizations. With experience in education and non-profit settings, Cathy effectively utilizes her specialized training and experience in participatory facilitation methods to guide authentic reflection and development. A native Californian, Cathy earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology from California State University, Chico and her M.Ed. from Loyola University Chicago in Educational Leadership and Policy. Throughout her 30-year career in higher education, she has created and implemented a variety of leadership development opportunities for diverse youth and adults. Regarded as a leader in community engagement and service-learning, she utilizes the knowledge and skills gained through her experiences as the Director of Student Development and Leadership Programs at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University and as the director of California Campus Compact’s Bridge-Building Leadership Initiative, a comprehensive professional development program designed to cultivate and retain both emerging and long-time leaders of color in the field of service-learning and civic engagement at colleges and universities throughout California. Since 2014, Cathy has worked in close partnership with co-facilitator Kristina Barger, to develop and deliver a year-long professional development curriculum for members of the CSU STEM VISTA program aimed to support and sustain leaders striving to eliminate race, class and gender disparities in STEM undergraduate degree programs. Cathy has a strong commitment to creating a more just world. Her experiences and talents allow her to model and inspire others to be effective leaders within organizations and communities that value and promote our common humanity, social equity and justice.

KRISTINA BARGER
VISTA Program Manager
Center for Community Engagement
California State University Office of the Chancellor
www.calstate.edu/cce/vista

Since 2014, Kristina has led the vision, strategy and execution of a federally funded, system-wide AmeriCorps VISTA program focused on eliminating race, class and gender disparities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Kristina oversees the recruitment and placement of 21 VISTA members, typically recent college graduates, for an annual position of service on a California State University campus. In close partnership with co-facilitator Cathy Avila-Linn, Kristina develops, enhances and facilitates a year-long professional development curriculum for VISTA members and campus faculty and staff on leadership development, facilitation, practices for asset-based approaches, equity and inclusion. VISTA trainings are designed to actively model and teach participatory practices to promote inclusive environments. Kristina earned her undergraduate degree in organizational communications from California State University, Chico and her master’s degree in leadership and nonprofit management from Northeastern University. She is currently a doctoral candidate of educational leadership at California State University, Fresno. Her research is focused on examining faculty decisions, behaviors, and practices that perpetuate and dismantle white supremacy culture in biology courses. Kristina brings a commitment and ability to operationalize the values of equity, inclusion and justice starting with critical self-reflection and the interrogation of power and privilege.

Workshop Description:

Using participatory facilitation methods, this interactive webinar will introduce Dr. Tara J. Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth Model as a framework for discovering and embracing the unique assets, knowledge and talents of students of color. Together, we will discuss the importance of decentering predominantly white approaches for teaching and learning and explore how we can transform our practice in ways that welcome students’ whole selves and actively honor diverse ways of knowing, being, and learning. Facilitators will share examples of how faculty are incorporating the model and designing asset-based educational experiences.

Participants will be invited to:

  • Reflect on their own cultural identities and educational experiences;
  • Deepen their knowledge of Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth
  • Brainstorm with a small group, focused on ways to incorporate practices and policies that actively promote inclusive, asset-based teaching and learning experiences; and
  • Build their capacity to design equitable and inclusive students’ educational experiences.

Title: High Impact Community-Engaged Learning Practices

Date and Time: November 19th –– 1:30-2:30 pm

Presenter: Dr. Lynn Donahue

Biography:

Dr. Lynn Donahue is the Assistant Director of the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement at St. John Fisher College and founding director of the College’s Community-Engaged Learning program. Under Donahue’s leadership, SJFC offers CEL to students across the disciplines of Business, Arts & Sciences, Nursing, Education, and Pharmacy. Dr. Donahue provides faculty, student, and community partner training, mentoring, assessment, and recognition. She is a published author and presenter on pedagogy, assessment, cultural competency, leadership, and community partnerships. Lynn Donahue is also the recipient of local and national grants and the College’s Cardinal Award. She received her Ed.D. from the University of Rochester, M.Ed. from the University of Buffalo, and BA from Skidmore College.

Workshop Description:

This webinar will focus on three practices that facilitate achievement of high impact community-engaged learning (service-learning): Reciprocity, Context and Culture, and Communication.  Participants will develop a deeper understanding of cultivating reciprocal relationships between faculty and community partners, educating students about context, and using a project management approach for effective communication. There will be opportunities to pair each practice with the processes needed for implementation. Examples will be drawn from Community-Engaged Learning courses and a Core course called Resilient Children, Engaged Communities.

 

RSVP https://forms.gle/zBm9Xpps2pmRENGS6

 

Services:

Already teaching a service-learning course? Receive a service-learning designation! This designation will allow students to search for classes with a service-learning focus and also ensure that we can accurately reflect the amount of community engagement at TCU.

SERVICE-LEARNING GRANTS

Before submitting an application, please prepare the following:

Overview: Provide a description for the course, and state how you plan to incorporate service-learning into it. Make sure to explain how the proposed project/activities align with course objectives.

Community Need: Describe the need for the community work as defined by the community agency or partner and how the course/initiative aims to meet that need. Support your statements with information obtained from community partners.

Outcomes: Describe the desired outcomes for the students, staff, and community members involved.

Activities & Timeline: List the activities and timeline for the course, and describe how the service-learning project will be integrated into the schedule. Identify the roles and responsibilities of the primary people involved.

Evaluation: Outline a plan for assessing the educational outcomes for students and the process of gathering information from the community partners.

Budget: Please prepare an itemized budget, indicating the amount requested for different categories (such as supplies, training, travel, printing, etc.) and any in-kind contributions. Make sure to include justification for each line item, tying each proposed expenditure to specific project activities.

*To submit your proposal, please e-mail Dr. Rosangela Boyd at  r.boyd@tcu.edu.

Please e-mail Dr. Rosangela Boyd at  r.boyd@tcu.edu, she will work with you to tailor a presentation specific to your class or organization’s needs.

 

ACADEMIC SERVICE-LEARNING

Academic Service-Learning is a pedagogy based on the principles of experiential education, which integrates community service with academic study. Faculty, in collaboration with representatives from community organizations, design service projects that enhance student learning and help meet community needs. Through structured reflection, students consider relationships between the service experience, the academic content of the class, and its impact on their personal values and professional goals.

A growing number of departments and programs currently utilize service-learning, some having sought the assistance of Community Engagement in building community partnerships, while others developed projects independently.  Our office works continuously to develop a comprehensive list of service-learning courses based on information by faculty members.

Service-Learning Designation for Course

The effectiveness of Service-Learning as a teaching approach depends largely on the preparation phase. When designing the course, faculty need to consider several factors from preparation to implementation to evaluation. The following steps are recommended to ensure a successful experience to all constituents:

1. Explore how service-learning fits into your teaching philosophy
2. Determine how service-learning experiences may facilitate learning by drawing connections to course objectives and desired outcomes
3. Gather resources on community needs and ideas for potential projects
4. Identify community partners and build a collaborative relationship
5. Integrate information on service-learning into the course syllabus, review logistical details and make necessary arrangements
6. Plan how students will be oriented to service-learning
7. Decide on strategies to connect service to learning through reflection
8. Set-up evaluation procedures

Already teaching a service-learning course? Receive a service-learning designation! This designation will allow students to search for classes with a service-learning focus and also ensure that we can accurately reflect the amount of community engagement at TCU.

Organizations:
Campus Compact: TCU is a member of Campus Compact which is a national coalition of more than a thousand college and university presidents – representing some six million students – dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement, and service-learning in higher education.

The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse
The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse (NSLC), a program of Learn and Serve America, operates America’s premier website supporting the service-learning efforts of schools, higher education institutions, communities, and tribal nations. Under resources it is possible to find information on effective practices, hot topics, funding sources, toolkits on responding to national disasters, lesson plans and syllabi, and much more.

More on Engagement and Volunteering Information:
www.americorps.gov
www.communityengagedscholarship.info
www.idealist.org
www.peacecorps.gov
www.serviceleader.org
www.volnow.org
www.volunteermatch.org
www.unitedwaytarrant.org

We are connected to numerous non-profit agencies in the Tarrant County area. If you are interested in partnering, please see opportunities listed below and contact Dr. Rosangela Boyd at oce@tcu.edu.

INTERNSHIPS

We work in partnership with the Center for Career and Professional Development to develop internship opportunities in non-profit organizations. These internships are known as the Public Service Consulting Corps, and will provide a select group of students with a unique opportunity to apply their academic knowledge and critical thinking skills, serve community needs, and develop professional, leadership, and research skills. In partnership with  identified community partners, students will have the opportunity to create and implement community (civic) engagement projects on and off campus. Students will participate in training and workshops designed to expose them to a variety of social issues impacting the Fort Worth community, as well as prepare them with the skills needed to become catalysts for social change.

For information on how to become a site for internships, contact us at oce@tcu.edu.

Timeline:

Mar. 9: Host site application due
Mar. 21: Student interest session
April 9-20: Interviews
April 23: Students notified
April 25: On-campus intern training

SERVICE-LEARNING

Academic Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection. Students engage in community service in response to community-identified concerns and learn about the root causes of issues as well as their roles as citizens. We welcome community agencies to partner with our faculty and become our co-educators. Become an approved Academic Service-Learning partner.