In general, most teenagers are hard to persuade about topics like improving schools and communities. “50 percent of students surveyed before participating in a service learning course believed they had a good understanding of the needs and problems facing the Rochester area. ” After participating in service learning, the number rose to seventy-five percent. College used to be a place that would produce better citizens. Now the primary focus has turned to getting ready for professional careers.
If improving society and our communities does not get taught in college, then we will have missed the original purpose for college itself. Students that participate in service learning classes “demonstrate a changing awareness of their own relationship to their school, their community and their world. ” Not only does it change awareness but professors notice a change in the way students dress and carry themselves. Service learning is not only beneficial for students, but it is beneficial to the companies in our areas as well.
These companies or businesses who seek out help through a service learning program may very well be able to train their future employees. This enhanced learning process allows students to learn jobs that they would like to take over upon completion of their degree programs. Service Learning benefits the student’s confidence in searching for jobs where the number one qualification is experience. Students that do not have any service learning classes may feel inadequately trained after they get their degrees. They may feel like they don’t deserve to apply for jobs they have no experience in.
But, if they were to have had service learning in school based on their career choices, they would have the experience they need to feel confident walking into a job interview. If companies in our area are willing to reach out to students for help completing projects, why not participate? The student won’t only have a civic sense of pride, but they will gain working knowledge of what different companies do in our communities. It may even show a student where he or she may want to apply for a job and where they might want to steer clear of.
Service learning allows the students to build wonderful rapport with companies they may want to seek employment with. In a world where experience is necessary, I think service learning programs are going to give students an advantage in the job fields. I think service learning should be incorporated into every single degree path at every school. Some would disagree for reasons associated with time, money, and choice. Some students disagree with the service learning because they may not have the time to take off of work to be involved in a community service project.
If they take off more work, then they lose money. But, what they don’t realize is that these projects are what will shape their experience for their job-fields. Maybe we should also be looking into not adding service learning time on top of class time already, but having the service learning as a class. Some businesses love the help from students in their communities so much that they actually employ some of them as interns or co-operational students where they actually get paid. Some students just do not want to be made to be involved in anything more than going to the college for learning.
Some may not have reliable transportation to get back and forth from different community projects. I think it should be something that all students strive to do within their communities, if not to be a better citizen, but to have a more well-rounded education. As above stated, service learning indefinitely enhances formal education. College was originally intended to help society by producing more educated and community aware people. I think our universities have gotten away with only producing textbook educated students. School may even be more enjoyable to students if their learning was more hands-on.