Community-based learning is an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills to real world experiences while serving their communities. Students earn CBL credits in designated courses. This means that students can earn CBL credit as part of the overall college learning experience. Professors and community partners work together to develop projects that allow students to enhance their classroom knowledge, develop leadership skills, network with community leaders, and meet identified community needs. CBL credits can be applied toward the CBL Certificate, in addition to regular earned course credits. The CBL Certificate is a 10- credit certificate that promotes student understanding of community needs, facilitates networking opportunities and looks great on a resume whether applying for future employment or graduate school. CBL projects can become part of a final professional portfolio.
UW-Parkside professors and instructors involved in the project included Penny Lyter (HESM), Stef Strauss-Thompkins (HESM), Patti Clearly (GEOS) and Dave Rogers (BIOS). The video was made by AVA productions and its purpose is to inspire both students and faculty in the STEM disciplines to get involved with community based learning.
CBL projects can be included in all majors and issue areas. There are four different models: Product, Project, Placement, and Presentation.
Product: In the Fall of 2009 students in Professor Tau Chen's Art 477 Web Design class developed a website for a local nonprofit organization, Human Capital Development Corporation, Inc.
Project: Two student groups from Professor Kuruvilla's QM 319 Operations Management class worked with the nonprofit Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency (RKCAA) to provide an external perspective on their operations. The agency needed help with a confidential sign-in process, a client survey, a customer flow chart, and improved inventory controls.
One group developed a standardized intake form for all clients to fill out when coming into the organization, thus enabling the pre-screener to see additional clients and speed up the assistance process. They also recommended a new layout for the waiting area to make the facility more secure, along with new food pantry distribution procedures to improve client confidentiality. The weatherization team recommended reengineering the material distribution process with a new priority system. Both student groups focused on making the organization as efficient as possible by implementing lean techniques to eliminate waste, particularly with regard to employee downtime. Nearly all of the recommendations of the students from both groups have been put in place and has enabled the organization to run smoother, faster, and more efficiently.
Presentation: Communication students presented recommendations to help the Racine Healthy Birth Outcomes Initiative spread its message on combating Racine's high black infant mortality rate during a briefing at the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread on Dec. 17, 2010. The students reviewed HBO's social media options as part of a comprehensive communication plan created by Professor Megan Mullen for Communication 435 Understanding Advertising and Messages.
Placement: Introduction to Community Based Learning introduces student to community based learning experiences. Each student provides 15 hours of service to community entities in Kenosha, Racine, Walworth, Milwaukee and Northern Illinois counties. Students learn effective teamwork, develop an awareness of issues of diversity and reflect on career and personal opportunities for community engagement. In the Fall of 2010 students in this class served at: