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A Value Added Model of Service Learning in Political Science Courses

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Abstract:

In this paper we explore the way that political science service can be used to complement and support policy development and service delivery in municipal governments and local communities. This examination will explore the types of skills that can be developed in political science courses and the corresponding need for these skills within local governments and communities. In particular, many political science courses develop skill sets in their students that can be utilized to fill substantial gaps in governmental and non-profit efforts. From the design and implementation of public opinion research projects to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to conduct community asset mapping, properly designed political science can impart valuable skills in students that can be employed in service projects that may be of benefit to local communities lacking such skills. The paper also looks at the impediments that instructors face in identifying community partners that can benefit from their students’ enhanced abilities. In addition the article explores the challenges inherent in getting a group of students to produce a “deliverable” product that meets the standards expected of professional organizations. Finally, the paper examines a number of case studies where students from political science courses at Muhlenberg College have used the skills developed in their courses to supplement the work of the city government in Allentown, Pa.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

servic (129), student (113), learn (106), communiti (59), polit (55), skill (49), cours (45), develop (44), need (33), govern (33), public (30), research (29), civic (27), work (26), project (26), model (24), citizen (24), scienc (23), colleg (21), design (20), local (20),

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service learning, civic engagement, student research
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Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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MLA Citation:

Borick, Christopher. and Gambino, Giacomo. "A Value Added Model of Service Learning in Political Science Courses" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California, Feb 22, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245661_index.html>

APA Citation:

Borick, C. P. and Gambino, G. , 2008-02-22 "A Value Added Model of Service Learning in Political Science Courses" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245661_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: In this paper we explore the way that political science service can be used to complement and support policy development and service delivery in municipal governments and local communities. This examination will explore the types of skills that can be developed in political science courses and the corresponding need for these skills within local governments and communities. In particular, many political science courses develop skill sets in their students that can be utilized to fill substantial gaps in governmental and non-profit efforts. From the design and implementation of public opinion research projects to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to conduct community asset mapping, properly designed political science can impart valuable skills in students that can be employed in service projects that may be of benefit to local communities lacking such skills. The paper also looks at the impediments that instructors face in identifying community partners that can benefit from their students’ enhanced abilities. In addition the article explores the challenges inherent in getting a group of students to produce a “deliverable” product that meets the standards expected of professional organizations. Finally, the paper examines a number of case studies where students from political science courses at Muhlenberg College have used the skills developed in their courses to supplement the work of the city government in Allentown, Pa.

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