What is service learning?
Service learning is an important part of technical education. It allows for real-world experience and helps to develop soft/employability skills. Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.
Minnesota Program Examples
BIke Path construction
Central Lakes College
CLC’s Heavy Equipment Operations & Maintenance program created a 1-mile bike/walking path from the Staples airport to the Central Lakes College (CLC) Legacy Gardens north of town. The program worked with the city of Staples on the project. The city provided the aggregate and supplies for the project, while college, instructors, and students provided the personnel and equipment resources needed to finish the job. The project included challenges such as Gopher1 applications, surveying the ground, staking the land, calculating needed quantities of fill, dredging of a pond, and creating timelines which allowed students to problem-solve and use critical thinking skills to meet the challenge and finish the project. The path is a solid reminder of their collective effort.
Alexandria Technical and Community College
The Truck Driving program at Alexandria Technical and Community College has helped transport products for the area’s Outreach Food Shelf and Habitat for Humanity’s local thrift store, along with conducting free driver skills training for the city’s Fire Department, and other related activities.
RECONDITIONING VINTAGE CAR FOR PURPLE HEART AUCTION
Lake Superior College
Lake Superior’s Auto Body Technology Program reconditions a donated vintage car for auction to a charitable organization. This year they completely restored a 1976 Chevy Laguna S-3. Their efforts were instrumental in being able to raise $15,000 for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 56. The chapter works with combat-wounded veterans in and around the Duluth area.
AUTOMOTIVE AND VEHICLE MAINTENANCE SCOUT BADGES
Fairmont High School
For years, Robert Bonin has taken a couple of weekends out of his schedule, and with permission from his school, has opened up the school’s shop to teach girl scouts and boy scouts and help them earn badges for automotive and vehicle maintenance. He plans to incorporate students into his next event.
REPAIRING DONATED CARS FOR SINGLE MOMS
The Automotive Service Technology Program at Ridgewater College repairs donated cars to give them to single moms and others in need of transportation who had no other way of affording the purchase of a needed vehicle. The college has worked with the Heartland Advisory Council, along with area business. At least 29 vehicles have been part of the project.