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Services & Learning

 

What is Service Learning, and How is COMM 3910 Service Learning?

Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.** The COMM 3910 Group allows undergraduate students to provide media materials to non-profit organizations who either lack the staff or the funding to produce media materials that assist them in promoting awareness of their organization and its service(s). Students are able to make a difference for an organization making a difference. They are serving the community while learning how to work in their chosen discipline and acquiring skills.

Why is Service Learning So Important Now?

Job Training

Graduates of the nation’s journalism and mass communication programs in the spring of 2009 confronted a job market unlike any that graduates have encountered in the nearly 25 years for which comparable data are available.***

The COMM 3910 Group provides students with an opportunity to apply critical thinking skills by preparing a problem-solution model.

Community Service for Those in Need

As state and federal budgets are tightened, more non-profits are feeling the effects on their economic resources. Media is not cheap, and professional media services are sometimes impossible to purchase for smaller organizations. All of the COMM 3910 Group clients are those who might not have access to major PR and marketing firms, and who provide valuable services to the community. A video, commercial, fliers, or even a list of local media contacts allow the organization to promote awareness of their services and location, and those materials can be used over an extended period of time. Our students create Facebook pages and post YouTube videos, and use readily available media with no cost to the client.

The Future

The course is offered each semester, which allows us to continue working with a new non-profit organization, and that allows us to work with two groups a year. Our goal is to make any non-profit organizations in need of assistance aware of our existence and our willingness to make their organization more visible in the community.

*APSU 2010-2011 Catalog Course description
** National Service-Learning Clearinghouse at http://www.servicelearning.org
***2009 Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates by the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research in the Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Georgia

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