Beverly Perry, program administrator for the Community College National Center for Community Engagement, recently held a seminar on Service Learning at Kenai Peninsula College (KPC).
"Service Learning is an academic program that helps faculty to integrate community service into their courses. What we ask students to do is to help understand community needs and participate by taking that information into the courses that they are taking," explained Perry. KPC was the recipient of a grant from the National Center for Community Service and was selected as one of eleven grantees nationwide including all he U.S. Territories. The results of integrating community service into core curriculum at KPC will be published nationwide and be presented at a national conference, according to Perry. "This is a national trend. The concept of service learning began in the late eighties, coming out of the experiential learning concept, but we have taken it to a more intense level where students do critical analysis and more in-depth study as part of the service component. The students don't get credit for their volunteer hours, they earn credit for the academic writing, research, and reflection that they do as a part of the service component of the class," said Perry. The Community College National Center for Community Engagement supports community colleges nationwide in their community service endeavors.
Retired staff members from as far away as London, England, returned to celebrate Redoubt Elementary's 25th Anniversary.
At a luncheon address to faculty and community members Perry shared her passion for Service Learning and her personal classroom experience with the endeavor, "It's a thrill for me to be able to do this nationally, because having practiced it myself as a faculty member and service learning director to share these skills with those who want to implement it themselves on their campuses is simply thrilling," said Perry. This was Perry's first visit to Alaska and the Kenai Peninsula; she was accompanied by UAA Director of Community Engagement and Learning, Nancy Andes. Describing her first trip to Alaska, Perry said, "It is awesome and I don't use that as a clich. I'm ready to bring my whole family to come and visit and see what a wonder this is!"
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