Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash
An awareness of how service-learning (SL) or community engagement (CE) could be utilised in Australia as a response to university-community engagement has hovered since the early years of this century; for example in anticipated responses to the 2002 Brendan Nelson “Higher Education at the Crossroads” paper. In 2006 Macquarie University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Steven Schwarz announced that all first year students would experience a voluntary position in the community, albeit the reality of achieving that meant that exact goal did not reach fulfillment, but resulted in Macquarie’s award-winning Professional and Community Engagement program (PACE) approach. In 2012 Griffith University began a large-scale award-winning approach to service-learning, providing opportunities for all students to experience a credit-bearing community internship. However, while these approaches were being developed, the Australian Catholic University and Notre Dame in particular, through their faith-based values of enacting higher education, had for years been implementing SL or CE approaches as a natural part of their degree deliveries and have a long history of students providing service to community, especially in education qualifications. At the same time, there were various pockets in other universities where individual academics were using a service-approach for the practical experience in their courses, notably Diana Whitton and Catherine Walbank at Western Sydney University.

More recently, there has been growing interest in SL as a response to expanding the types of opportunities students can experience as part of the broader demand for WIL. Of course, anyone operating a WIL program can utilise social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations as places of internships in regular WIL programs. However, there are special components of SL which make the experience much more than a career-ready experience developing students professional skills. When enacted appropriately, SL has the opportunity to effect transformation in addition to career-readiness such that students personal values and enactment of those values are transformed and they become contributing members not only of their employment-related communities, but also in the community more broadly in terms of engaging in continuing activity to improve social justice.

This Webinar will identify for participants, the elements of SL which make it different to WIL, or create an environment of WIL-plus for students, for the university, and especially for the community. It will look at some of the abundant research on curriculum-based SL in North America and open up the world of resources available for those wishing to enact SL opportunities for their students as an approach to WIL, or simply to create an opportunity for students to experience in their higher education experience, an awareness of their role and responsibility in their world.

Delivered by

Carol-joy Patrick | Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Senior Fellow, Griffith Learning and Teaching Academy

Carol-joy has spent 25 years in the Higher Education Sector working with industry and community to enhance students’ learning through placement in work-integrated learning (WIL) positions. She developed courses/units and the placement and partnership relationships for over 4,000 students in a diverse range of disciplines including Griffith University’s Commonwealth Games Internship program with GOLDOC.

Her most recent experience was developing and managing Griffith’s Community Internship course, which places students from all disciplines in community organisations to enhance their professional and personal skills. She has been a leader on two national research projects; The WIL Report. Work Integrated Learning. A National Scoping Study and Leading WIL: a distributed leadership approach to enhance work-integrated learning outcomes.

Her work has earned a variety of awards including two citations and an award in the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) program and a 2018 Study Queensland Excellence Award for being an international student employability champion. She is passionate about the value of networks in creating opportunities to share good practice and hence was instrumental in the development of the Australian Collaborative Network (ACEN) for WIL practitioners.

She is presently launching a Service-learning Australia network and hosting a national Summit on Service-learning at the Gold Coast in November to expand the amazing opportunities students have for professional and personal development through contributing to community organisations.

Thursday 12th September 2019