Service Learning 293H, Learning through Community Engagement – 4 credits, Gen Ed SB DU
Instructor: Nicole Nemec, Senior Lecturer, Commonwealth Honors College
Wednesdays 4:00 – 6:30 pm
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, students integrate academic learning with experiential learning. Placement in a community-based organization is central to the course. This semester we will be working with organizers, teachers, and frontline workers at UMass via the office of Labor/Management Workplace Education (LMWEP). Students will have the opportunity to learn about LMWEP’s diverse programming, as well as its philosophy, origins, and influence in the field. Students will work directly with LMWEP staff and worker-learners, choosing from a variety of possible work-options — including, but not limited to assisting in English-language learning courses, tutoring learners in English language conversation, assisting in other courses (computers, communication and writing, and more), participating in various aspects of the Building Bridges initiative whose aim is to draw out worker voices via storytelling, oral histories, art, discussion, and interactive exhibits.
In preparing for community engagement, students will explore themes of individual and social responsibility that cross and confound boundaries of culture, ethnicity, race, class, and other strands of social identity. We will explore themes related to the work we’ll be doing, including the nature of work, education, and the larger systems in which we and this organization function. On-site and in readings and discussion, we will learn about methods for social change, community-building, and empowerment.
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