Service-Learning could lead to future careers

KELLY MONTGOMERY

The HCAP crew, one of many exhibitors offering volunteer opportunities at the Service- Learning Fair.

KELLY MONTGOMERY

Service-Learning coordinator Sharon MacQuoid.

Last spring, WCC students put in almost 1,400 hours for Service-Learning over the course of the semester.

In the past few weeks, Service-Learning coordinator Sharon MacQuoid and her student assistant, Jamie Logan, have been making the rounds and informing classes about the program.

Service-Learning is the application of course learning in ways that benefit the community.

So what does this mean for students?

In many WCC classes, 20 hours of Service-Learning could replace a quiz or paper, or even an exam. For example, in Roy Fujimoto’s political science class, Service-Learning can count for 25 percent of your total points.

When given a choice between a written report and community service, students will often choose the latter.

There are other reasons to do Service-Learning besides avoiding papers. Service-Learning can also help to provide insight in your field of study.

“In some cases, it helped them see, ‘Is this really my occupation or not?’” says MacQuoid.

Service-Learning can also help you land a job. If you show proficiency in what you do during your volunteer work, you may be offered a job on the spot, or after you earn a degree.

“It’s hard to get that first job, but it’s pretty easy to get your first volunteer job,” says MacQuoid.

“I always tell people that Service-Learning – volunteering – is a job. You just don’t get paid for it in money.”

Service-Learning can also help students apply what they’re learning in class to the real world. There is a variety of Service-Learning positions available, such as in education, science, health and technology.

Upon completion of the program, students receive a certificate that officially documents their community service.

This is especially useful for resumes as you can actually prove your work hours and experience, whereas others may not have anything official.

For details, contact MacQuoid at 236-9225, e-mail her at macquoid@hawaii.edu., or see her in Hale Manaleo 115.

by Eric Levine, Ka ‘Ohana Staff Reporter