Eastern Michigan University
Jessica "Decky" Alexander
Director, Office of Academic Service-Learning
203-D Boone Hall
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti MI 48197
What Is Academic Service-Learning?
Academic Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection as a means of helping students gain a deeper understanding of course objectives, acquire new knowledge and engage in civic activity.
What is Engaged Scholarship?
Engaged Scholarship involves the faculty member in a reciprocal partnership with the community, is interdisciplinary, and integrates faculty roles of teaching, research, and service. While there is variation in current terminology (public scholarship, scholarship of engagement, community-engaged scholarship), engaged scholarship is defined by the collaboration between academics and individuals outside the academy - knowledge professionals and the lay public (local, regional/state, national, global) - for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. - David Scobey, Harvard Center for Community Partnerships, Bates College
The mission of the EMU Office of Academic Service-Learning & Engaged Scholarship is to build an infrastructure that will support students, faculty, administrators, and community members in their efforts to implement academic service-learning and foster community engaged scholarship. The Office of Academic Service-Learning provides several services to its constituents:
- Faculty Fellow Seminars are offered each fall and winter. Five selected faculty are released quarter-time to participate in a semester-long weekly seminar. Fellows learn academic service-learning theory, implementation and assessment.
- Community Partners are identified and fostered with the assistance of office staff. Interested faculty can work with the office to contact and partner with agencies and community sites. A database with profiles of available sites is maintained by the office.
- Research Opportunities are available for faculty and students through the office. Information on current research, publishing opportunities, and conference presentations is also available. Staff assistance is provided for data collection and literature reviews.
- A Resource Library located in the Office of Academic Service-Learning provides journals, books and other publications related to academic service-learning. A number of electronic resources are also available through the office via the internet.
- Networking is available through our Office. Faculty have the opportunity to meet one on one and discuss important decisions about their courses, find valuable information, share ideas and keep up to date on any news events. Through this interaction, faculty from partnerships and supportive networks and engage in collaborative scholarship.