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3.3.1.5 Assessment of Community Service PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 September 2009 12:50

3.3.1.5 Assessment of Community Service

The institution identifies expected outcomes, assesses whether it achieves these outcomes, and provides evidence of improvement based on analysis of the results in community/public service, within its educational mission.

Responsible Unit: Division of Academic Affairs & Division of Student

Compliance Judgment

Compliance

Narrative

As a public land-grant institution, North Carolina A&T State University has historically reached beyond the boundaries of the campus to serve the broader community. The university’s mission statement acknowledges the institution’s commitment to effective public service as one of the three fundamental purposes that undergirds its existence [1]. The various constituents of the university, including the faculty, staff and students, engage in a rich diversity of community service.

Further, the University of North Carolina System supports community service through its community service leave policy [2], which is followed by A&T [3]. The policy grants full-time permanent employees 24 hours of annual leave for volunteer service. If employees participate in a mentoring or tutoring program in a school, they are allowed one hour per week up to a maximum of 36 hours. The number of community service hours is pro-rated for part-time employees.

Several examples are illustrative of the kinds of A&T community service that has benefited Greensboro, the Piedmont Triad, the State of North Carolina, and beyond.

Student Community Service: Community service is such an important part of A&T’s mission that it has been incorporated in the University Studies (UNST) general education curriculum as the Civic and Service Education Program (CASE), a service learning component [4]. Administered by the Office for Student Development in the Division of Student Affairs, students are required to complete fifty hours of service in order to fulfill graduation requirements. CASE links students directly to volunteer opportunities in the surrounding communities and the Piedmont Triad.

During the 2006-2007 academic year, 867 students served 4,008 individual service hours at more than 27 agencies and organizations [5]. In 2008-2009, the number of students participating more than doubled to 2,000 and the individual service hours to more than fifty agencies and organizations increased more than fivefold to 22,364. That same year, 150 registered student organizations completed more than 12,600 community service hours [6].

Students gain valuable practical experience and a sense of social responsibility by volunteering, while simultaneously providing a service to the civic and social service agencies and organizations they serve. Students’ involvement in community service helps to ensure that the university’s commitment to public service, through civic engagement and social responsibility, is fulfilled.

Community Activities of Faculty and Staff [7]: The faculty and staff in the schools and colleges also volunteer in the local area, the region, and the state. Examples for the 2008-2009 academic year are representative of the kinds of community outreach programs annually engaged. Some public service projects lead to interdisciplinary collaborations between and among schools and colleges such as the projects with the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications and the Department of Political Science. The School of Education and five other schools and colleges work together on a math and science mentor program for middle school teachers.

College of Arts & Sciences: Engagement with the community and K-12 education is a primary focus of the College of Arts & Sciences. The college hosted over 300 outreach and access activities.

The Department of Biology hosted more than 120 students from seven high schools at the eleventh Life and Physical Sciences Research Symposium. They were privileged to hear and have a chance to interact with Dr. Oliver Smithies, a Nobel Laureate and professor of pathology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Smithies shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with two other scientists for their work in embryonic stem cells research. Faculty also held seminars on the growing threat of Alzheimer’s disease among African Americans, and more than 200 attended.

The Science and Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) in the Department of Chemistry immersed twenty high school students and two of their teachers in “hands-on and minds-on” activities in analytical, organic, and biological chemistry. The students did online research and wrote a technical paper, which was presented to the STEP faculty, staff and parents.

The summer academy of the Greensboro Area Mathematics and Science Education Center (GAMSEC) enrolled 360 pre-college students. In addition, the GAMSEC Saturday academy, held during the academic year, had a weekly average attendance of 160 participants. Members of the Department of Mathematics also partnered with the Black Child Development Institute and a number of civic organizations to provide tutoring to elementary, middle and high school students.

The Department of Journalism & Mass Communication produced Aggie Access and Aggie Sports Report for cable public access Channel 8 (GCTV) and also produced Campaign Watch 2008, a forum on the historic presidential election, organized by the Department of Political Science & Criminal Justice.

The Department of Visual & Performing Arts had a Saturday dance academy for youngsters ages seven to fifteen. Twenty-five females and males participated. Faculty tutored the children in dance and drumming. Over 100 parents, grandparents and friends attended the closing performance, which featured Ghanaian and South African drumming and dances, using the renowned Katherine Dunham technique. The department’s programs in dance, theater, music, and visual arts collaborated with the Partnership Village and the Servant Leadership School in Greensboro to host 20 children, parents, and volunteers for an on-campus workshop and mini performance for the children.

School of Education: Faculty in the leadership studies doctoral program collaborated with the Urban Education Institute in the “Think Tank” to assess current pre-kindergarten through college practices related to African American males’ academic achievement. Over 70 individuals from school systems, faith-based organizations, other community-based organizations, boards of education, departments of public instruction, and universities around the state and Southeast region participated in the two-day event.

Another male initiative is the Guilford County Schools (GCS) Middle College, housed on the A&T campus. The A&T Middle College is the first all-male public school in the state. In addition to completing the high school curriculum, Middle College students are encouraged to take one or more college courses with tuition paid by GCS in hopes that they will decide to pursue their education beyond high school graduation. In addition, each student is mentored by A&T students, faculty, and administrators.

Content Mentoring for Middle Grades Math and Science Teachers, a federally funded research project, studies the effect of mentoring on increasing the content knowledge and instructional effectiveness of middle school math and science teachers. Over 70 teachers in several Piedmont Triad school systems are mentored by content faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Engineering, School of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, School of Business & Economics, and School of Technology. The School of Education’s faculty collaborated with the content faculty in other A&T schools and colleges in mentoring the middle school teachers.

The Service Mentoring Academics Responsibility Teamwork (SMART) program [8], which is an accelerated tutorial project, works with elementary school students at Washington Elementary, a high needs school. Pre-service candidates in A&T’s North Carolina Teaching Fellows program tutor 50-75 Washington Elementary students on campus twice a week. The student’s reading levels are assessed at the start of the program and periodically reassessed throughout the semester. The End of Grade results serve as the measure of success. Washington Elementary had not met the average yearly progress (AYP) target in five years. By the end of the first semester of SMART, the school had met the AYP for reading. At the end of the next semester, the AYP for math was met. In 2008-2009, the school met both the AYP for reading and for math. Over 150 children benefited from SMART.

International outreach prompted Randolph County teachers participating in the A&T instructional reading program to donate 80 children’s books, 30 children’s magazines, and other supplies to the Oyoko Methodist Primary School in Koforidua, Ghana. In addition, reading, special education, and language arts books were donated to Teachers College of Freetown, Sierra Leone.

School of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences (SAES): Outreach programs are central to the SAES’s mission. The EntrepreneurShip Investigation Program (ESI) helps schools, 4-H clubs, and other youth organizations to explore entrepreneurial education. SAES faculty conducted two ESI training sessions with 4-H volunteers, agents and youth representing 14 counties. The sessions helped participants learn to think like entrepreneurs and consider becoming future entrepreneurs in their own communities. At the completion of the training, participating counties conducted a showcase with 32 youth sharing their creative entrepreneurship ideas.

SAES co-sponsored two health fairs with NovoNordisk, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures diabetes treatment medicine. A roundtable panel of local doctors and healthcare professionals discussed strategies for treating and preventing diabetes. Vendors provided health screenings and materials on healthy living. Over 200 community residents attended the health fairs.

Parenting Matters is an educational program offered by the SAES Cooperative Extension Program that provides court-mandated parental training. In 2008, limited-resource organizations and social service agencies made 529 referrals. One hundred and fifty-seven parents completed the training by attending at least seven of the eight sessions. Participants consistently reported using positive parenting strategies.

The Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP) [9] selected twenty high school students from across the state to participate in a four-week residential program designed to explore career opportunities in agricultural sciences. The students conducted research in biotechnology, horticulture, food and nutrition, and animal sciences, exposing them to techniques used in scientific research. In addition, the RAP students developed mentor relationships with the SAES research scientists assisting them.

The outreach efforts at North Carolina A&T State University illustrate the institution’s longstanding commitment to public service, especially projects to improve public education, which is a strategy of the state’s economic stimulus agenda to attract new, high tech businesses and industries by ensuring a highly quality, well-trained workforce. In addition, public service projects provide practical experiences outside the classroom for A&T students while, at the same time, enhancing the quality of life for North Carolinians and ensuring that the community, the region, and the state have ready access to the wealth of knowledge and expertise the university has to offer, thus, fulfilling the public service component of the university’s mission.

Supporting Documents

[1] Mission Statement

[2] Policy, NC Office of State Personnel

[3] Policy, A&T Community Service Leave

[4] UNST Service Learning

[5] CASE Economic Impact Report 2006-2007

[6] CASE Economic Impact Report 2008-2009

[7] Faculty Staff Community Activities, 2008-2009 Report

[8] SMART Program

[9] RAP Program

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Last Updated ( Monday, 14 December 2009 13:42 )
 

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