At Marquette, Service Learners are involved with the community in several different ways. They may work alone, in pairs, in small groups, or with their entire class. We have identified five models of service learning to summarize the variety of ways students participate in the Service Learning Program.
Students choose from among several placements that have been chosen from their courses. They usually work at these sites 2-3 hours per week throughout the semester. The service students provide is the conduit to their learning; they gain access to the populations or issues related to their courses and, in return, provide needed assistance to the organizations and/or their clientele.
- Students in Marquette's Culture and Health class, a requirement of the College of Nursing, may work with Project Q, a program at the LGBT Community Center, as educators and mentors for LGBTQ youth. Marquette students are able to see disparities in the health care system firsthand in the Milwaukee community amongst a diverse clientele and talk about issues that affect young women, young men, people of color, and transgender/gender non-conforming people. LGBTQ youth are able to discuss these issues openly with Marquette students and feel more accepted and comfortable, both inside and outside Project Q's "safe space."
- The Dorothy Day Social Justice Living and Learning Community (DDSJLLC) is comprised of students in their sophomore year at Marquette that have expressed an interest in social justice and service. Members of the DDSJLLC complete three hours of service learning each week while taking the Philosophy of Human Nature course in the fall and the Theory of Ethics course in the spring. Members do service learning at a number of different Milwaukee community agencies including the Guest House of Milwaukee, Journey House, and AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin where they are able to explore structural injustices in the Milwaukee community on a deeper level. Through their course work, service learning, and reflective opportunities, members of the DDSJLLC build relationships in the community and develop into the service leaders of tomorrow.
Students in certain courses (e.g. Physics 1001), take material that they are learning in class and create presentations for audiences in the community. The Service Learners work in small groups and choose from among several sites, which have been set up by the Service Learning office. Sometimes professors require students to do their presentations more than once; others have them present in class before going to the community.
- Dr. Joe Collins's Physics 1001 students work with Windlake Elementary giving presentations geared toward elementary students during their science classes. The Marquette students prepare interactive presentations about Newton's Laws, electricity and magnetism, forces and motion, energy, and space. The Windlake Elementary students are able to learn about these concepts in a fun and interesting way. Marquette students are able to reinforce their own understanding of important physics concepts by teaching these concepts to others.
- Students in Dr. McShane and Dr. Sebern’s Nursing 6244 Health Promotion across the Lifespan classes work with a variety of community agencies giving presentations on preventative health care measures. The students meet with the site contact and discuss the needs of the members of the site and decide an appropriate health care topic. In the past, Marquette students have created presentations on dealing with stress, nutrition, drug abuse and personal hygiene. The members of the agency are able to learn these preventative health care measures and apply them to their daily lives. Marquette Nursing students are able to reinforce their own understanding of important health care concepts by teaching these concepts to members of the Milwaukee community.
This model is similar to the Presentation Model, except the students all work with the same organization and put on a fair, or a mini-conference, that includes several learning stations or short workshops. Service Learners work in groups to coordinate all aspects of the event; they gain leadership skills as well as a greater knowledge of course content working with the Presentation-Plus Model.
- Astrida Kaugars’ Health Psychology class plans and leads a half-day program for third to eighth-grade students at Our Next Generation. Topics include nutrition, exercise, smoking, body image, etc.
In some courses, Service Learners - working alone or in groups - produce a tangible product for their agencies.
- Professor Maya Held's Advanced Television Productions class makes short, informational videos for Community Partners. The Community Partners obtain a well-produced video at little to no cost, and Marquette students are able to apply video filming and editing techniques learned in the classroom to real life.
- Each year, groups of students from Dr. Terence Ow’s Introduction to Information Technology class design and create Microsoft Access databases for several non-profit organizations. In the classroom, students learn about information systems theory, the impact of technology on business, as well as hardware, software, and databases. Students are then able to take this knowledge with them to a non-profit organization to complete a hands-on technological service learning project. Throughout the semester, small groups of students work alongside staff at a non-profit to determine their technology and data needs and create a functional, user-friendly database that will meet the needs of the agency. In past semesters, students have created volunteer management and agency data tracking databases for Central City Churches, Our Next Generation, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Penfield Children’s Center, and Bread of Healing Clinic.
Working in groups, Service Learners collaborate with community members to devise and implement a project.
- Students from Sarah Feldner’s Organizational Communication class conducted a communication audit for a non-profit organization in Milwaukee. The organization was new to the community and sought to determine the community's perception of the agency. They also sought to determine if the communication styles of employees was effectively marketing the agency. The Marquette students were able to apply skills learned in the Organizational Communication course and produce a tangible result for the agency.