Faculty plays an integral role in the development of a campus-wide community service learning program. Our goal is to encourage faculty from a large variety of disciplines to incorporate a service learning option for their students into course curricula.
With this goal in mind, the following readings, shared assignments, and critical questions are intended to provide faculty means of learning more about the benefits of community service learning, and offer instructors an easy way to incorporate Month of Service activities into their course content.
Assigning reflection questions to students transforms their volunteer experience into an academic service learning project. Below, are a few examples of the types of questions that will accomplish the deeper learning and critical thinking that service learning aims to achieve.
1. What were your initial expectations of participating in _____________activity. How has your participation changed these expectations? Why?
2. From a ___________ perspective, discuss the function and purpose of community art. Who does it serve, and how does it serve the community? What is the significance of the images depicted, and how do these images foster or impede inclusivity?
3. Describe your experience participating in _____________ volunteer activity. In
your essay be sure to address the following: What did you contribute to the day's
activity? What you gained from your experience. Were your experiences positive or
negative? What underlying social/environmental problems the activity addressed.
4. From a _____________perspective, discuss the function and purpose of community art. Who does it serve, and how does it serve the community? Based on your experience participating in the Santee Mural project, how community participation foster these outcomes?
Maria Pak, Psychology
Ingrid Jayne, English
Susmita Thukral, Psychology
Readings, Podcast, and other Media - One Theme, One Campus - Food
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Authorized Food List - The linked information identifies the food items that recipients of WIC benefits are able to purchase. This information may help students understand the restrictions and complexity of these benefits, and they can also use the information to better organize food and non-food drives that serve their community.
Myths and Facts About CalFresh - This article can help students better understand CalFresh (food stamps), how they work, and who is eligible. Like the link above, this information will help students looking to host a food drive what food and non-food items recipients of CalFresh benefits might need. In addition, the information will be helpful for students who may qualify for CalFresh.
San Diego Hunger Coalition - This links to the findings from a 2015 research study focused on food insecurity in San Diego county. The San Diego Hunger Coalition asserts, "These findings are the most accurate information that exists on food insecurity in San Diego country, and come from the Hunger Coalition's analysis of data sets from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) as administered by UCLA's Center for Healthy Policy Research." The San Diego Hunger Coalition website is a great resource for students and faculty eager to learn more about local food insecurity and who would like to get involved in food justice adovacy.
Feeding San Diego & "Mind the Meal Gap" - This links to the food insecurity research conducted by Feeding San Diego and its parent company Feeding America. Particularly relevent, is their most recent "Mind the Meal Gap" (2017) findings, which are referenced in many current articles on food insecurity throughout the county. A great resource for students and faculty regarding local and national food insecurity.
The Jacobs & Cushman Food Bank - Links to research conducted by the J&C Food Bank in colllaboration with Point Loma of Nazarene University (2013). The linked page lists their key findings and provides a link to the full, 30 page report. While the article is older than the others published by local food banks, combined they allow students to gage the trajectory of food insecurity in San Diego over the past 5 years.
"There's a Hunger Problem on America's College Campuses" This essay discusses the relatiely recent addition of food pantrys on college (university and community college) campus over the past decade.
Podcast - National Public Radio's Planet Money #665 - "The Free Food Market"
This podcast discusses how the identification of the national food bank/ food pantry system as a "free food market" with its own unique needs and valuations changed the manner food is distributed and revolutionized its efficacy. It also illustrates how an interdisciplinary approach to social problems can result in meaning, positive change.
Podcast - Berkeley Food Institute - "CalFresh on Campus, Breaking the Stigma of Food Insecurity"
This podcast touches on the stigma of poverty and the steps UC Berkeley students are taking to address and resolve the issue. The podcast presents a familiar scenario, "California consistantly has one of the lowest enrollment rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (SNAP) - also know as CalFresh at the state level...many people [students] who are eligible do not know about the program or do not apply."
Articles about Community Service Learning
"Helping Others Offers Others Surprising Benefits" from Psychology Today, June 2012.