BY JENNA MORRIS & MAGGIE MUELLER, STAFF WRITERS
Community service plays a large role at McKendree University. Many students are actively involved with the Lyn Huxford Center for Community Service (CCS) and take time out of there busy schedules to give back to our community. One way that McKendree also gets students involved is by having service learning in the classrooms. According to the CCS website, service learning is, “a method under which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service”.
Many professors at McKendree use service learning in their courses. Neil Quisenberry, 12-year Professor of Sociology at McKendree has just begun using service learning in his sociology classes after coworker Lyn Huxford retired. Quisenberry says, “This is my first time doing it, so I’m still learning the best way to do it for sociology classes.”
Dr. Quisenberry likes the idea of service learning because it gets the students out into the community and out of the classroom, “Teachers need to get students out into the filed whether it’s service learning, internship, or a co-op.” In Dr. Quisenberry’s sociology class service learning is done outside of class along with a reflection on what students have learned from their experience.
Service learning can be seen as different than just simply volunteering. Dr. Quisenberry gives his own interpretation of what the difference between service learning and volunteering are. “Volunteering is doing something for others in your community, while service learning is the same, but you understand it on a deeper context because you are learning about it in class.” He believes that it makes the material covered in class seem more real and students are able to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world.
Service learning is a great way to help our students get involved in our community, and also give them real world experience on how their major can be used in volunteering. It is a win-win opportunity for students and professors at McKendree.