A great way to gain credits and learn more about yourself is to enroll in a service-learning or community-engaged learning course. The courses I have taken provided the opportunity to explore education and human services through coursework and volunteer experiences. I have taken 4 community-engaged courses. Each time, I leave with marketable professional experiences and a greater understanding of myself and my passions. These courses give space for self-reflection. As a class, we discuss our values and what problems we would like to solve.
In Professor David Campbell’s Foundations of Civic Engagement (PAFF 225), we discussed many current events issues and met with various leaders in Binghamton. These include the Director from Truth Pharm, a local organization advocating for policy to reduce stigma and harm surrounding substance use. Additionally, we met Broome County’s Director of Emergency Management and Conrad Taylor, a Binghamton alumni who served as councilman for Binghamton’s 4th district. We had individual presentations about how we are civically engaged and plan to continue to be involved in our communities. In Professor Lisa Yun’s Community Engagement (ENG 450), we wrote about our family’s immigration stories. We also worked with people in the community to write theirs. As a class, we planned and presented at an on-campus event, as well as had our stories published in the Tenement Museum’s virtual archive. Over spring break, Professor Yun gave us a walking tour of the Lower East Side. Then we went to meet with staff members from the Tenement Museum.
I also took 2 courses with retired English Professor Al Vos. The first was Practicum in Service and Leadership (HDEV 106). Through this course, I volunteered at the Parolee Reentry Program at Volunteers of America. I observed the case manager in her role and her weekly anger management class. During our class session, it was great to see where all my classmates volunteered and hear more about their passions. In Literacies of Power (WRIT 111), all students were assigned a local elementary school classroom where we assisted the teacher during reading blocks. I was assigned a third grade classroom at Vestal Hills Elementary. It was wonderful to walk off campus every week. I enjoyed meeting the students and getting to know the teacher so much so that I continued volunteering for the entire school year. These courses allowed me to break the campus bubble and get to know more about the greater Binghamton community.
There are a variety of community-engaged courses in other disciplines. If you would like to learn about more opportunities, they are available at the link below: