FSC teams with Polk
at service learning institute
LAKELAND, Fla. (Feb. 7,
2003) - A five-member team from Florida Southern College and Polk
County Schools recently attended the Inaugural Florida Institute
on Service Learning in Teacher Education at the University of South
Team members included Dr. William Hatten, associate vice president
for development, FSC; Drs. Kathleen Milburn and David Wood of the
education department, FSC; Amy Kowalczyk, FSC student and community
service volunteer coordinator; and Ginger Wiggins, community literacy
liaison at West Area Adult School in Lakeland.
During the conference, team members wrote a grant for the implementation
of an introductory service learning program within the college's
training program for special education teachers. The grant has since
been funded for $2,500 by Campus Compact, a multi-state organization
whose membership is composed of college presidents and which exists
for the purpose of promoting service learning.
The purpose of service learning is to infuse the curriculum into
service to the community. The program differs from what is commonly
thought of as community service in that it provides real-life experiences
to students as part of their course requirements within the special
education training sequence. Students have various service-learning
options from which to choose, including working with adult exceptional
students at the West Area Adult School or teaching out-of-field
teachers of special education from the Polk County Schools.
"Research suggests that if pre-teachers are taught how to conduct
service learning, that is, identify a real community need and gather
research to fuel a plan, they will be much more likely to engage
their own students in service once they are in their own classrooms,"
While the project is beginning within the special education major,
team members continue to meet to explore ways the concept of service
learning might expand to other areas of campus life. For more information,
please contact Dr. Kathleen Milburn at 680-4176.
About Florida Southern College
Florida Southern is a four-year, private, co-educational liberal
arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The college
offers more than 40 undergraduate majors and a master of business
administration degree accredited by the Commission on Colleges of
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Located in Lakeland,
Fla., the college is home to the largest, single-site collection
of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.