Symposium on Service-Learning
Tuesday, 3 June, 2014 - 09:00 to Thursday, 5 June, 2014 - 13:00

Location: June 3 – 5, 2014 • Louisville, Kentucky, USA


In the ever-changing landscape of higher education, institutions of higher learning have become increasingly woven within the fabric of the communities in which they reside. In recent years, “universities have evidenced an increasing willingness to become actively engaged with communities, and to use those communities to enhance the learning experiences of students” (Bryant & West, 2006). Thus, we as practitioners and scholars are called upon to immerse college and university students in their communities, with the dual purpose of having a positive impact on the community and the students themselves. Service-learning in particular “enables colleges and universities to meet their goals for student learning and development while making unique contributions to addressing community needs” (CAS Standards, 2009). This focus on reciprocity – mutual benefit to students and the community – and on reflective practice make service-learning an unparalleled opportunity to engage students in powerful community-based learning experiences. Through service-learning, students develop deeper knowledge of human and community needs, immerse themselves in meaningful ways in the community, and engage in critical reflection that provides context for their experience. If well-executed, service-learning experiences can be highly transformative, developing students as active citizens and leaders of social change.

Purpose of Symposium

ACPA’s Symposium on Service-Learning, co-sponsored by the Commission for Student Involvement, will provide a forum for exchanging innovative ideas and promising practices relevant to service-learning practitioners and scholars. This symposium will be specifically geared toward new to mid-level professionals working with service-learning programs or offices, though interested graduate students, academic faculty, and community partners are welcome to participate. Also, for purposes of this symposium, service-learning will be defined broadly to include both academic and co-curricular service-learning experiences. Because our professional roles and learning styles are varied, the content of this symposium will be delivered in a variety of educational formats and designed to be applicable to a wide spectrum of participants. Educational formats at this symposium will include: topic-based plenary sessions, campus and community spotlights, community and student panels, structured small-group discussions, and individual working time. So whether you are engaged in community service or service-learning work, coordinating one initiative or directing an entire office, working with an established or a developing program, this symposium will be a value-added experience.

In 2014, we are thrilled to partner with AASCU and the American Democracy Project to co-locate our Symposium on Service Learning with their National Meeting. ACPA members will enjoy member pricing for the American Democracy Project National Meeting, held directly after our meeting in the same hotel.

Outcomes of Symposium

It is intended that, through actively engaging this Symposium on Service-Learning, participants will:

Develop a Common Language

We will discuss past and present language used to describe service-learning, to develop a working definition of service-learning. Participants will arrive upon an individual/institutional definition of service-learning with which to frame the symposium.

Explore Key Elements

We will explore the fundamentals of service-learning such as reciprocity and reflection, as well as frameworks and models for service-learning programming, as provided by foundational theory on service-learning. Participants will develop their working knowledge of service-learning, to ground their continued conversations with theory to practice.

Exchange Best Practices

We will exchange best practices from our personal/professional experiences engaging in service-learning, whether as practitioners or scholars. Participants will gain insight into exemplary service-learning programs and partnerships through various campus and community spotlights. Participants will also be encouraged to share best practices with one another informally throughout the symposium.

Connect with One Another

We will engage in the symposium as a cohort of service-learning practitioners and scholars, so as to develop a culture of collegiality and collaboration. Participants will gain insights into each other as individuals and representatives of institutions as a catalyst for continued conversations following the symposium.

Schedule (subject to change)

For travel purposes, the Symposium begins at 9:00am on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 and ends at 1:00pm on Thursday, June 5, 2014. We suggest that attendees arrive on Monday night and book flights that depart after 3pm on Thursday.

Meals included: Continental Breakfast and lunch each day and dinner on Tuesday. Dinner Wednesday is "on your own".

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

8am – 9am Symposium Registration & Continental Breakfast (Provided)

9am – 9:15am Welcome & Overview of Symposium

9:15am – 10:15am Opening Keynote: Dr. Robert Bringle Appalachian State University

10:15am – 11:15am Discussion Groups (Introductions)

11:15am – 11:30am Break

11:30am – 12:30pm Plenary Session 1: Dr. Robert Bringle

12:30pm– 1:30pm Lunch (Provided)

1:30pm – 2:30pm Campus Spotlight 1: Thomas Dahan

Rutgers Camden: Engaged Civic Learning by Design: A Framework for Faculty Development and Student Learning Assessment

2:30pm – 2:45pm Break

2:45pm – 3:45pm Community Spotlight 1: Gayle Hilleke:

Executive Director- Kentucky Campus Compact

3:45pm – 4:45pm Campus Spotlight 2: Patrick Grayshaw

Missouri State University: Triangulating Need: Assessing Community, Student, and Institutional Needs in Developing Comprehensive Community Outreach Programs

4:45pm – 5:00pm Break

5:00pm – 6:00pm Discussion Groups (Guided Discussion)

6:00pm – 7:00pm Dinner (Provided) (Welcome by Tricia Fechter, Interim Deputy Executive Director ACPA)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

8:00am – 9:00am Continental Breakfast (Provided)

9:00am – 10:00 am Community Spotlight 2: Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, National Manager American Democracy Project/ Stephanie South, National Coordinator, The Democracy Commitment

10:00am – 11:00am Commission Spotlight: Sarah L. Hermsmeier

Commission of Student Involvement Chair ACPA/CSI

11:00 am – 11:15 am Break

11:15 am – 12:15 pm Campus Spotlight 3: Sarah L. Hermsmeier

Program Director, Civic Engagement University of Kentucky

12:15 pm – 1:30pm     Lunch/Break (Provided)

1:30pm – 2:30pm Plenary Session 2: Daniel Fidalgo Tomé

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

2:30pm – 3:30pm Campus Spotlight 4: Amy Bravo

New York Institute of Technology

Hurry up… Nobody’s Looking Assessing Civic Learning in Career Services

3:30pm – 3:45pm Break

3:45pm – 4:45pm Discussion Groups (Guided Discussion)

4:45pm – 5:45pm Community Panel: Local Kentucky Partners

5:45pm – Dinner on Your Own

Thursday, June 5, 2014

7:00am – 8:45 am Continental Breakfast (Provided)

8:45am – 9:00 am "Housekeeping" Items

9:00am – 10:00 am Plenary Session 3: Harry Boyte- How Colleges and Universities Can Be Agents of Change, Not Objects of Change

10:00am – 11:00 am Community Spotlight 3: Shannon Morrissey and Robert Burack BreakAway Community Impact Assessment in the Alternative Breaks Movement

11:00 am – 11:15 am Break

11:00am – 12:00pm Final Discussion Group

12:00pm – 1:00pm Closing Keynote: Harry Boyte

1:00pm – 1:30pm Thank You & "Housekeeping" Items Boxed Lunches (Provided)