The Michael G. Jacobson Service-Learning Program

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Mission Statement

The Michael G. Jacobson Service-Learning Program at Appalachian State University strives to prepare teachers to be active participants in the life of their school and community. Our program seeks to empower future teachers to work toward social justice through an ethic of caring, commitment and conscience.

The MGJ Program won the 2012 ICSLTE Award for Service Learing Excellence in Teacher Education in the United States.

The MGJ Program Sequence

Directed Elective (20 hours):

The first 20 hours of the program will be completed in a course chosen by the student from the directed electives offered by the elementary education program. The course instructor choses a site appropriate for the class and coordinates the service hours assigned.

As the first phase in the MGJ program, the service-learning piece of the directed elective is designed with several intended outcomes in mind. First, the course serves as an introduction to the place and use of service-learning within an educational setting. More than community service, these 20 hours are intended to model for elementary education students the potential for service to extend and deepen the meaning of academic work. The 20 hour project should augment the coursework and be intimately connected to the coursework and curriculum.

Block I (10 hours):

The second sequence of hours is completed as part of CI 3000 during Block I. For these 10 hours students are tasked with identifying a community need that aligns with the goals and objectives associated with learner diversity. The student will then propose a service project to the instructor focusing on this need. Areas to be addressed in the project may include issues such as poverty, cultural differences, socio-economic inequality, gender roles, sexual orientation, and others.

Block II (10 hours):

The capstone experience of the MGJ Service-Learning Program is completed as part of CI 3110, Elementary School Social Studies Methods. Here the students take responsibility for leading a classroom in a service project. This experience is designed to integrate philosophies and best practices associated with social studies curriculum and instruction with the constructivist and service philosophies of the MGJ program.

These ten hours are completed by the student during their five-week field experience and in close consultation with their cooperating teacher and their elementary school students. Projects are monitored and overseen by the CI 3110 and CI 4000 instructors. Each project will result in an artifact that is assessed as a common assignment within CI 3110 and will be posted to TK20.