In February Riverland Community College’s Automotive program received a $3,000 grant to start a service learning project. This grant was generously provided by the National Center for Autonomous Technologies and the Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence. The project itself was led by Riverland’s Automotive Instructor, Olle Gladso, who envisioned the opportunity to be able to help members of the community while also giving his students real world work experience.
Through this grant Riverland Community College was able to provide free car repairs to local community members who wouldn’t have otherwise been able to afford them. In collaboration with local organizations such as Minnesota Workforce Development, they were able to reach out to those who needed help the most and get them the repairs they needed to have safe and reliable transportation.
The 2nd year automotive students in Olle’s program diagnosed and performed the needed repairs under instructor supervision. A majority of the repairs performed during the project were fairly extensive and involved repairing brake systems, suspensions, and engines. When talking to Olle about this experience he said “All of the graduating students worked together on every project and they all felt it was a worthwhile use of their talents while helping members of their community.”
All the graduating students worked together on every project and they all felt it was a worthwhile use of their talents helping community members.Olle Gladso
Service learning is such an important part of technical education because it allows students the opportunity to gain valuable real world experience while developing employability skills. This project is a great example of service learning and we hope to see more in the future! For more examples of service learning projects that have been done in transportation, visit our service learning page.