In October CCV’s Civic Engagement Committee brought Gail Robinson, a nationally recognized service learning and civics educator, to CCV for three days of professional development sessions around service learning. CCV promotes service learning because research shows that it deepens students’ understanding of content and allows them to apply what they are learning in a hands-on setting.
The 2011-12 CCV Service Learning and Community Service Economic Impact Statement shows that the integration of service learning components into coursework at CCV increased 43 percent in 2011-12, and faculty reported that CCV students spent 740 more hours in direct service in 2011-12 than in 2010-11 (a 22 percent increase).
More than 70 faculty and staff met with Robinson or attended one of her sessions during her 3-day visit to CCV:
- On October 17, 2012, faculty were able to schedule conversations with Robinson for one-on-one help in designing service learning components for courses and to learn about helpful resources and strategies.
- On the 18th she led an afternoon workshop at CCV-Montpelier, “Democracy Education in the Higher Ed Classroom,” to help faculty and staff explore how political and/or civic components can be integrated into courses.
- On the last day of her visit she brought the discussion on democratic engagement to the annual Dimensions training conference held at CCV-Rutland.
Gail Robinson is a service learning consultant for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in Washington, DC. She directed AACC’s national service learning initiatives from 1994 through 2012, and works with colleges across the country to develop and evaluate service learning and community engagement programs. She served as co-editor of A Practical Guide for Integrating Civic Responsibility into the Curriculum, is a member of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification national advisory panel, and served on the board of directors of the International Association
for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement.