Many of the course sections for Technical Writing are offered as service-learning courses. What is service-learning? Your college experience is to help you have the means to make a living, follow a career path, and find self-fulfillment. Yet it should go beyond these self-oriented goals, it also should prepare you to be a member of society. Perhaps you need to take care of family members, such as your own spouse and children or parents. Yet being a member of society also suggests that you have a civic responsibility as well. Through your service with a non-profit organization and the reflection on that service provided by the writing assignments in class you will come to understand for yourself the reasons for and importance of civic engagement.
“I think service-learning means that community service goes hand-in-hand with getting a higher education. Just as an individual invests in a degree in order to begin or advance their careers, they should also invest in the community where they will advance in age and/or their children will be born into. I think it’s especially important to set good examples of community service to younger generations so that they can continue implementing good acts and keep the cycle going.” –Previous Student of ENGL 2010
The Salt Lake Community College’s vision states that SLCC will be “a model for inclusive and transformative education, strengthening the communities we serve through the success of our students.” The values that SLCC has defined to meet this vision include classroom learning in an atmosphere of respect and empathy for diverse cultures and perspectives, and serving the community—especially in collaboration with community needs.
Service-learning classes seek to fulfill SLCC’s vision by allowing you to have direct experience by applying what you are learning about writing to real-world settings. This includes both individual and team projects. You will also be given a chance to reflect on these assignments to consider what you have learned and how you have had an impact in your community.
Students who engage in civic engagement tend to have higher grades, are more likely to graduate, and have a more meaningful class experience. Also the idea that giving back something to the community is just as important as learning in class, and that by doing both you can be prepared to be a good citizen in your community, workplace, and in your life.