By Shayla Vance
The 2017-2018 academic year has been successful for the office of Citizenship and Service-Learning. Over 5,000 students have registered for service-learning courses in the fall, summer and spring, which is more than twice the enrollment rate of 2012-2013’s same semesters. More students are recognizing service-learning as a valuable career experience, and they are making a significant impact on the community.
In a component course, each student completes 40 hours of service with a community partner for their service-learning project. Combining courses with integrated service-learning brings the total so far to 82,580 hours of service. The impact is already starting to show. CASL students have brought an estimated total dollar value of 1,781,250 to the Springfield area and outside communities through service-learning. So while students are gaining hands-on career experience, they are also making a measurable impact on the community.
The higher enrollment is not only making a difference within Springfield, but also for CASL community partners. With a greater number of knowledgeable volunteers assisting with service projects, local non-profits are able further spread their impact on social issues. This year, CASL students and community partners have achieved some great milestones, such as:
- The Missouri State Vision Screening Program performing 10,000 vision screenings
- Eden Village preparing for its grand opening this year
- Victory Mission and Ozark Food Harvest partnering together to create a new food rescue program
As more students participate in service-learning, the CASL office will continue to provide non-profit organizations with student volunteers who are eager to make a difference within the community. CASL hopes that enrollment will continue to grow and stimulate the expansion of non-profit programs to create a better Springfield.