Voices

I know that when I apply for a job, I can use my service learning experience to showcase my ability to apply theory to ??real? world situations. More importantly, what I understand about my community has grown with my participation in service learning at CSU Stanislaus. It is extremely important to be connected to one??s community, and service learning gives students an opportunity to make that connection.

- Gabriela Nuo, CSU Stanislaus Early Assessment Program / Admissions Counselor and former service learning student

This experience has enhanced what I have learned and has given depth and meaning to the sociological theories I have studied. No longer can I drive down the street and ignore the human beings that I see pushing a shopping cart. Now I make eye contact and wonder if he will be safe tonight, where he can find food and if I may see him tomorrow.

- Peggy Stepro, CSU Stanislaus Master of Social Work student and former service learning student

Students?? service projects play a significant role in their educational and personal development while giving back to the community. As students apply concepts learned in the class to real world settings, another level of learning takes place. Opportunities for learning and insight, both professionally and personally, that cannot be stimulated, routinely occur when they put their knowledge to work in the community. Tangential to learning theories and facts, a university education should inspire critical thinking, promote the acquisition of technical skills, and connect students to communities. Devising the preferred course of action in less than perfect decision making conditions inspires critical thought and innovation.

- Professor David Colnic, Department of Politics and Public Administration

Service learning gives our students real-life experiences that help them choose a career path, that enrich their resumes when they apply for jobs, and that help them develop empathy with an understanding of some of the people they will be working with in criminal justice.

- Professor Phyllis Gerstenfeld, Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice

Students in my General Education Course, CDEV 3040: Child Development in Cultural Context, have been working closely with seniors at the Turlock Salvation Army Senior Center. The benefits of this service-learning project have been innumerable, well beyond what I envisioned when I first spoke with the staff at the Office of Service Learning. My students have displayed a fuller, more personalized, understanding of the course material. Their service-learning experiences have added depth to their writing and excitement from the class discussions. Just as important as the increased engagement from the students, their interaction with the seniors has been an opportunity to forge new friendships.

- Professor Jennifer Esterly, Departments of Psychology and Child Development, and Director of the Child Development Center

The Parent Resource Center has been involved in a valuable partnership with California State University, Stanislaus and the Office of Service Learning for over 5 years, through an in-home reading program ?? The Parent Child Home Program. This wonderful partnership benefits the community in three ways: 1) It provides the students, who will be employed in careers with children, ??hands on?, practical training and a true understanding of working with families from all walks of life. 2) It gives parents the guidance, training, encouragement and resources to enhance their relationships with their children. 3) It improves the quality of life for many young children by encouraging parents/child bonding and nurturing. These ??gifts? to our community are made possible through the dedication, support and commitment of the Office of Service Learning.

- Francine DiCiano, Chief Operating Officer of United Way of Stanislaus County and former Executive Director of The Parent Resource Center