SERVICE LEARNING PROGRAM
MODEL SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECTS
Using Technology to Recruit Volunteer Firefighters -Fall 2012
A video was created for the Oldwick Volunteer Fire Company to showcase the work firefighters do for citizens and to raise awareness of the role the fire house plays in the community which responds to emergencies in Tewksbury and surrounding municipalities. Fire fighters, both experienced and new, were interviewed for their perspective on the history of the fire company, how services have changed over the years, challenges that fire fighters face, and the importance of community members getting involved.
The Oldwick Volunteer Fire Company is using the video to encourage citizens to volunteer and continue the important work being done for the community. View the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGTMOVqFars&feature=youtu.be
Improving Lives through Community Nurse Care - Fall 2011
Several Raritan Valley Community College video students collaborated with the Community Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset County to create a public relations film for the organization. The project presented a terrific opportunity for our service learning students to work in a professional production environment while making important contributions to a film that will be used frequently by this organization.
The Visiting Nurses Association is using the video as a marketing tool for the purpose of projecting their mission and capabilities to prospective clients. The service learning students’ involvement in the film allowed them to interact with clients during the planning stages of the film and to guide the client through the stages of production.
The RVCC students who worked on this service learning project gained tremendous experience while working on a professionally produced public relations film. The students were involved with the writing, shooting and scheduling of the production in significant ways, often times taking the lead during shooting. Watch the Video!
African American Literature and Middle Earth - A Mentorship Project
Through a collaborative effort with Middle Earth in Somerville, seven RVCC students from "African American Literature" mentored seven African American youth from this community organization. To ensure the continuation of the mentoring program, the students created a Web site demonstrating how a campus/community partnership can nurture future leaders. The College mentors acted as role models by offering Middle Earth youth friendship and guidance, and sharing academic/cultural experiences, thus enriching the younger students' lives and creating aspirations for future participation in higher education and its goals. Some of the joint activities involved attending campus classroom lectures, swimming at the RVCC pool, attending shows at the RVCC Planetarium and a community theater, as well as socializing through visits at Middle Earth and email.
Managerial Accounting and Alternatives,Inc.
Four students enrolled in "Managerial Accounting" at RaritanValley Community College turned their business skills towards a project that benefited the community in a lasting way. As a group effort, the College students researched, developed and implemented a business plan to help the community organization Alternatives,Inc. acquire a financial database management system to support its new 300 client-housing unit. The students learned that they have the potential to make a meaningful and lasting impact in the community while developing their leadership, team work and communication skills.
Trends in Nursing and The New Jersey State Nurses Association
Four students enrolled in "Trends in Nursing" attended a seminar at the New Jersey State Nurses Association regarding the legislative process. As a result of what they learned from the seminar, the students' interest was piqued, motivating them to follow a bill through the legislative process regarding mandatory overtime. Subsequently, they attended a senatorial committee meeting where they witnessed first hand the importance of their participation in the political process as well as how their support and involvement could make a difference within the community. After reflecting on their experiences, they decided to prepare a document describing this process as well as developing an internship for future nursing students within the Trends Class in cooperation with the New Jersey State Nurses Association. Through their service learning, the students are leaving a civic legacy about the legislative process so that future students will be able to learn and benefit.
Managerial Accounting and The American Cancer Society
Five students from "Managerial Accounting" set themselves up as a small business with the goal of raising money for the American Cancer Society by selling flowers. The students' work included setting up a Partnership, Code of Ethics, Strategic Plan, Business Plan, Marketing Plan, Pricing and Credit Policies, Accounting Records and Financial Statements. Even though their competitors were supermarkets and florists as well as other charities, they felt their product was unique because their customer/donor could make a contribution to a well respected charity and receive something in return, flowers! The funds collected and donated to this organization will continue to help many patients long after the students' volunteer work is finished, demonstrating a unique blending of community, business and legacy.
Community Health Experiences in Nursing, Trends in Nursing and The Somerset Valley Visiting Nurses Association - An Interdisciplinary Approach to Community Problem-Solving
For two consecutive semesters, twelve Raritan Valley CommunityCollege nursing students participated in a collaborative service-learning project with the Somerset Valley Visiting Nurses Association. The students researched and documented the fifty-year history of the SVVNA as part of their academic studies in three different courses: Community Experiences in Nursing, Advanced Community Experiences in Nursing, and Trends in Nursing.
The first phase of the project included interviewing former and present members of the SVVNA including physicians, nurses, administrators, and patients. The students also collected and assembled information from newspaper stories, pictures, and office records that would help tell the fifty-year history of the SVVNA.
In the second phase of the project the students wrote and designed a booklet that highlighted the history of the organization; they also prepared a videotape describing trends in nursing and home health care. The booklet was a special edition to the organization's annual report celebrating its fifty-year history.
This undertaking is a dynamic example of a true collaborative service-learning project between the College and the community. Most noteworthy is that this type of work is typically not done at a community college level and seldom at the baccalaureate level, due to its complexity and commitment of time and resources.