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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Karen M Ericson
BIS 496
Bothell Campus

Community Service Project

In conjunction with faculty adviser, students develop and implement a community service-learning project. Involves activities such as assistance to disadvantaged populations, community outreach programs, policy analysis, or related work intended to improve the quality of life in the community. Includes academic study designed to integrate practical applications with learning and theory. Credit/no-credit only.

Class description

BIS 496 Community Service Project Course Description Civic engagement is a vital component of higher education. In order to truly become responsible citizens, we need to understand issues of social justice. This course is designed to give students an opportunity to delve deeply into the scholarship and responsibilities inherent in community service. We will examine the development of community-based learning as an academic endeavor and discuss social issues such as power and privilege. Students who have taken a course with a community-based learning component often find it hard to leave an organization after just one quarter.

This course is specifically designed to allow students who have established a working relationship with a community partner to continue their service and receive credit for it. Part of the equation of community-based learning is that it is reciprocal, students gain valuable knowledge and insight from their experiences in the field and in return, meet a real need of the community. This is difficult to attain in the constraints of an academic quarter and additional time will provide an enriched experience for everyone involved.

Students will be expected to spend a minimum of 40 hours of direct service at their project site. To offset this requirement, the class will only meet in person five times, twice at the beginning of the quarter, once at midterm and twice at the end of the quarter. There will be weekly reading and reflection assignments on Blackboard. Students will be required to meet individually with the instructor during the course of the quarter. This 3 unit class can be repeated five times, for a maximum of 15 credits. Permission of the instructor is required to register. kericson@uwb.edu

Student learning goals

Be familiar with some of the history of community service and civic engagement.

Be more aware of and prepared to meet the needs of community organizations.

Understand the concerns around possible problems stemming from service.

Be able to reflect more deeply on issues of social justice and experiential education.

Increase social skills in an organizational setting.

Develop observational abilities in working with a diverse spectrum of people.

General method of instruction

In class and Blackboard discussions of readings and service experiences. Service at worksites. In depth reflection assignments.

Recommended preparation

Prior community-based learning experience.

Class assignments and grading

Students will be required to complete 40 hours of community service during the quarter. Each week there will be a reading and reflection assignment which will be discussed either in person or on Blackboard.

Completion of 40 hours of community service, all reading and reflection assignments, as well as class participation.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Karen M Ericson
Date: 01/26/2012