Given the national and international political events over the last year, it is clear how important our freedom of choice is and how important it is that we use our freedom to ensure that we have a strong voice in our world communities. Accordingly, it is imperative that we connect with our incoming students in ways that encourages them to make the best of their choices and enhance their voice.
Last year the Academic Day (now rebranded as “Ship Connect”) planning committee began a new venture by adding a service-learning component to its schedule. Over one hundred students along with more than a dozen faculty and community partners completed a variety of service projects in Shippensburg. Students who participated in last year’s event enthusiastically described the service day as a worthwhile learning experience. Our first-year student participants reported that the service activities helped them to:
- Connect to on and off-campus communities, fellow students, faculty, and community partners through fellowship activities
- Build new friendships with other first-year students and become confident in making the connection to Ship
- Gain experiential knowledge about a major or a course and establish the importance of scholarship
- Learn skills and knowledge that can help them succeed academically
- Build interpersonal skills through teamwork and service activities
- Understand the importance of active participation in developing their voice as they pursue their education
The outcomes students experienced last year reflect a number of goals set forth not only for Academic Day, but also in the goals included in the proposed Academic Master Plan. Service-learning projects provided opportunities to interact with diverse communities in ways that deepened their connection to Shippensburg as well as to academic programs. As we begin to plan for next fall’s Students-in-Service Day, we will again need your help to make this day a success. Our goal is to have a wide variety of service-learning projects that offer opportunities for all academic majors on campus. To make this possible, we need YOU! All staff and faculty are invited to propose a service-learning project that offers exposure or a new perspective with your discipline or organization.
To begin the process of involvement in the Students-in-Service Day, please develop an idea for service, discuss your project with a colleague or a community partner, and submit a proposal to the planning committee via the website at http://www.ship.edu/Academic_Day/. Coming up with an idea may not be as difficult as you might think; however, if you would like to participate but need assistance in developing an idea, please do not hesitate to contact one of the co-chairs or visit the website for more information. Proposals will be accepted through May 6th.
We now know that students benefit from early interaction with faculty and fellow students who are pursuing similar majors. It is important for you to make that possible by using your voice to make the choice. We look forward to receiving an exciting variety of proposals for our new group of fall students!
Gretchen Pierce GKPierce@ship.edu
Karen Johnson KGJohnson@ship.edu
Academic Day Students-in-Service Committee Chairs
What exactly is Service-Learning?
The National Commission on Service-Learning describes service-learning as a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. For the Ship Connect Students-in-Service Day, service-learning activities seek to build community with the Shippensburg campus, the Shippensburg Community, Shippensburg University faculty, and fellow students. Students are encouraged to choose projects that align with their anticipated major in an effort to explore opportunities in the field while getting to know faculty in an engaging forum. Such exploratory engagements in the disciplines help students refine their knowledge of a field while building important relationships with others.
Ideas for Project Proposals
If you would like to participate in the Students-in-Service events but are having trouble coming up with an idea for a service project, consider the opportunities below and contact either Gretchen Pierce at GKPierce@ship.edu or Karen Johnson at KGJohnson@ship.edu for more information or guidance in developing a short proposal. We can help you develop an original project or refine a project that has been completed in the past. You can also learn about existing service-learning opportunities by visiting the following websites:
We hope you will take the opportunity to share in the excitement of this Students-in-Service event!
Many opportunities for leading service activities exist on the Shippensburg campus as well as in the community. Some projects that have worked well in the past are provided below.
The Students-in-Service activities will have activities on two days that include a Friday afternoon and Saturday morning session.
- Help stock shelves at King’s Kettle Food Pantry. In this activity, student can spend time talking to the director to learn about why he started King’s Kettle, how it has grown, and why the need for the food pantry exists in the Shippensburg Community. Contact information is available at:http://www.ship.edu/uploadedFiles/Ship/Dean_of_Students/Volunteer_Services/Kings%20Kettle%20Food%20Pantry.pdf
- Organize a street clean-up on Richard Avenue and Britton Court. Talk to local residents about how Richard Avenue has changed over the years, their impressions of college students, and how students can continue to help improve the community.
- Spend the morning playing Wii, doing arts and crafts, or learning tai chi with the residents at Elmcroft or the members of Southampton Place Senior Activity Center. Ask the residents/members about their daily routine, how often they see their families, and how long they’ve lived in Shippensburg.
- Do a trail maintenance or invasive species removal project at King’s Gap. Talk with one of the park staff members about how the budget crisis is affecting the State Parks, where invasive species come from, how they’re spread, and how they can be contained. Contact Kim Mikhalek at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Help clean up and care for the cats at Hawthorne Acres Animal Sanctuary. Talk to Dr. Lange about why she started Hawthorne Acres, what students should know before adopting a pet, and how they can help throughout the year.
- Assist members at the Shippensburg Historical Society to organize and classify materials pertaining to local doctors. Enjoy the opportunity to handle original photographs and discover the importance of conservation techniques so that future generations can use the same sources.
- Clean up the environment by picking up trash, removing brushing, and clearing out debris from streams and trails. Favorite areas include the Cumberland Valley Rails to Trails system and the Burd Run Stream.
- Support literacy in the local community by assisting the Franklin County Literacy Council. Help council members prepare for Literacy Day by designing and promoting materials for this event.
- Help the Franklin County Migrant Workers Education Program through participation in events that inspire migrant workers’ children to attend college. Help service leaders promote events that bring these children on campus to learn about college life before taking them to the Corn Festival for an educational, but action-filled day.
Students in Service Schedule
Friday Afternoon Meeting
Students will attend regular Ship Connect Academic Day conference sessions, eat lunch, and then come to Memorial Hall for team building and an informational session about Service Day events. After an introduction to service learning and an interactive team building activity, students will meet with their group for their preselected project. Group leaders will lead this part of the meeting for the rest of the afternoon session.
The goal of this session is to develop perspective and focus for Saturday’s activity. In particular, this meeting provides the first opportunity to address service with a specific project in mind. A discussion of the project, its goals and expected outcomes will help build group cohesion (and excitement!) for the following day.
During this meeting group leaders will:
- Provide a time for more in-depth introductions
- Describe the project and their personal interest in the activity
- Outline the schedule
- Give guidelines for completing the project
- Distribute service-learning waivers
- Provide expected learning outcomes of the project
- Remind students of the time and location of the Saturday morning meeting
On Saturday morning, leaders will meet their students for breakfast at a specified location. Breakfast will be provided for all participants, and a snack box will be given to each person before they leave for their destinations. Leaders will take their groups to their service location, complete the service, and then gather together when they have completed the project to discuss the events of their day. The day will conclude with a group meeting where participants can reflect on the day’s events and share their experiences with each other.
Students in Service: Service-Learning
Projects Proposal Submission Form
Program Contact &
Project Leader & Email
Program Contact & Project Leader 2 & Email
Service-Learning Project Title Service-Project Program Description
Department or Program Number of Students To Be Involved
Community Partner/Agency & Address Where Service Learning is to Occur?
Other Comments or Notes Regarding Your Proposed Service Project?