At Widener, service learning is the foundation of the Widener educational experience.
Academic Service-Learning (ASL) is an educational experience that unites experiential components, civic engagement, and classroom activities. The goal of academic service-learning is to enhance the development of each student’s sense of civic responsibility while achieving the academic objectives for individual courses or across courses within a curriculum. Institutional support fosters the linkage of learning, assessing, and applying academic content in meaningful, measurable projects within real community settings.
ASL focuses on intentional reciprocity between the student and the community. Structured reflection on the interplay between academic development and community benefit provides the key to ASL. Together, reflection and reciprocity allow the academic service-learning experience to benefit the student, the university, and the community.
Widener’s service learning courses, as taught by our faculty, provide innovative opportunities to be of service to individuals, public schools, public service agencies, and nonprofit organizations within our partnership network.
Service-learning courses are offered every semester. A sample of service-learning courses include:
- ENV 188/HUM 188: COFFEE CULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN COSTA RICA
During this international exchange experience with students from a Costa Rican university, students explore spectacular and biologically rich environments as they study topics related to sustainability and coffee culture.
- HM 402: APPLIED LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Students identify and complete on-the-job employment objectives, analyze organizational management styles, and develop an awareness of societal need in the context of civic responsibility in the tourism industry.
- NURS 480: SENIOR NURSING ELECTIVE
This service-learning experience integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities specifically related to the topic of the nursing elective.
- SSCI 202: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT
This course focuses on the power of political engagement and advocacy. Students will work in small teams to develop advocacy strategies and communication materials to educate others about contemporary political issues affecting college students. The course is intended to build leadership skills and promote engaged citizenship.
- SW 441: SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH COMMUNITIES
Students develop a fundamental understanding of the knowledge, values, and skills in organizing, planning, and facilitating macro practice. This course also introduces students to community needs and capacity assessments, community organizing, and community development.
Dean Fred Akl
Professor Fred A. Akl, dean of the School of Engineering, discusses his work with NASA during the STS-63 and STS-71 space shuttle missions.
At the Health Annex
Lynn Freda, a nurse and graduate student in Widener's Family Nurse Practitioner master's program, talks about her experiences working with Dr. Shirlee Drayton-Brooks, associate professor at the School of Nursing.
Dr. Marina Barnett
Dr. Marina Barnett, associate professor in the Center for Social Work Education, talks about the leadership qualities she sees in her students. Also, Dr. Barnett gives an amazing Widener rallying cry. Check it out!
Catherine Rawlings '14
Catherine Rawlings, a junior from West Chester, Pa., talks about why she participates in the AmeriCorps Community Fellows program at Widener.
Dr. Jeannette Wyatt
Assistant Professor Jenny Wyatt discusses the work and impact of the Widener Center for Violence Prevention.
Dr. Nadine McHenry
Associate Professor Nadine McHenry talks about the importance of exposing teacher candidates to schoolchildren from different contexts.
The 1821 Experience
In this pre-orientation program, you will explore how multiculturalism adds to the college experience and connect with other students on campus.
This multi-day backpacking trip, led by members of the Outdoor Adventure Club, offers incoming Widener students a chance to build self-confidence and a social network of like-minded students on campus while having fun in the Appalachian Mountains.
This student life leadership program, Enhancing Leadership Experience Via Activities, Training, and Engagement, aka ELEVATE, allows you to build or hone your leadership skills with learning tracks for emerging student leaders.
The Oskin Leaders program inspires and equips Widener undergraduates to courageously leverage their passion and leadership skills to create significant, positive change.