Service Learning Models

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.

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Placement Model

Students choose from among several placements that have been chosen from their courses. They usually work at these sites two to three 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 Education 1210: Intro to Schooling in a Diverse Society do service learning as a placement model. Given the opportunity to choose from various school sites, students typically tutor in after-school programs. One such opportunity is at Nativity Jesuit Academy, a Jesuit middle school that serves primarily Hispanic boys. Marquette service learners help the boys with homework, build relationships and serve as mentors to them.
  • The Dorothy Day Social Justice Living and Learning Community (DDSJLLC) is composed of Marquette sophomores who 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.

Presentation Model

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. Anne Pasero’s Spanish Mystics class is an Honors seminar that studies mysticism and various Spanish mystic poets. The class engages in a presentation for students at Notre Dame Middle School about what mysticism is, who the mystic poets are and why it is important to the Catholic faith. This service learning presentation was a culminating project at the end of the year, which required students to synthesize what information was most important for them to know.
  • Students in 6244 Health Promotion across the Lifespan classes have worked with a variety of community agencies giving presentations on preventive 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 preventive 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.

Presentation-Plus Model

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.

Product Model

In some courses, service learners – working alone or in groups – produce a tangible product for their agencies.

  • Dr. Brian Spaid's Digital Marketing class participated in the Google Challenge. Organized by Google, the challenge is to create a team, find a company and create an advertising campaign using Google AdWords and Google+. Marquette had a total of nine teams, with 45 students involved total. Eight of the teams chose Milwaukee nonprofits as their company and re-energized or created websites to advertise their services.
  • Groups of students from Dr. Terence Ow’s Introduction to Information Technology class design and create Microsoft Access databases for several nonprofit 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 nonprofit organization to complete a hands-on technological service learning project. Throughout the semester, small groups of students work alongside staff at a nonprofit 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.

Project Model

Working in groups, service learners collaborate with community members to devise and implement a project.

  • Instead of doing simulated projects in class, graduate MBA students from Professor Kurt Gering’s INTE 6153: Project Management course work with partnering nonprofits and community organizations to assist with planning, scheduling and creating a work plan for large-scale events, IT projects and fundraising activities. Through this community-based experiential learning method, students are able to directly apply the skills and knowledge they are learning in class, and at the same time help partners build their capacity for these types of projects. Students assisted with the following projects:
    • American Cancer Society – Students planned a fundraising event for young professionals.
    •  Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan (SEAS) – Students planned a  fundraising dinner for a capital project.
    • American Cancer Society – Students planned a running event (Sole Burner) to raise funds for the ACS.
    • Journey House – Students planned “A Winter Wonderland” (Christmas) fundraising event.
    • Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center – Students planned an annual fundraising dinner event.
    • Marquette Engineering Immersion Lab – Students created a project plan to open a spinning studio.