Hallmarks of Service-Learning
The Honors College of South Carolina is located in the middle of Columbia, a thriving capital city where volunteer opportunities abound.
Service-learning is one of the most rewarding things Honors Students have the opportunity to do, and there are a number of ways to use a service-learning experience to fulfill our Beyond the Classroom requirement. One of our goals is for each student to leave the Honors College with a desire to give back and to help in ways that highlight their talents.
“My service-learning provided a concrete example of concepts discussed in the course. Discussing the presence of hunger in America in class was informative, but then going out and seeing in my community during my service at a local soup kitchen was absolutely eye opening.” - anonymous quote taken from course evaluations
All SCHC service-learning courses incorporate:
- Integrated Learning: A clear link exists between the community service and the academic content.
- High Quality Service: Projects are meaningful, well organized and address a community-identified need.
- Collaboration: Students, faculty and community partners all play an integral role in the planning and implementation of the project.
- Civic Responsibility: Projects promote student responsibility for community well-being.
- Reflection: Structured time or assignments allow students to analyze the experience and course connections.
- Evaluation & Assessment: Students, faculty and community partners participate in evaluating the project or
Student Service Organizations
You'll be able to choose from a wide variety of service-learning opportunities or develop your own. Some students choose to help members of the Columbia community in specific, hands-on ways, while others prefer to raise funds for non-profits or do research that will benefit people and communities in need.
Many students gravitate toward service work that complements their program of study. Here are a few projects available to current students.
Members of Communities in Harmony are focused on making a positive musical experience
for the children they visit each week. This organization began as a South Carolina
Honors College outreach initiative striving to use music as a tool to enrich the lives
of the people they work with. In order to do this, members collaboratively plan every
session. They share songs, dances and musical games to take to the various afterschool
programs that they partner with each semester. The adaptive, cooperative and personal
skills developed have shaped the members into sensitive, perceptive volunteers. Each
session has a designated leader who guides the day's activities. Typically, these
leaders are the volunteers with the most experience, but the opportunity is open to
anyone who desires to develop those skills. The volunteers gather for planning retreats,
monthly meetings, and weekly volunteer sessions. Communities in Harmony won student
organization of the year in 2014 and has been awarded funds from the Hootie and the
Blowfish Grant for their initiatives.
Get in touch via email.
Waverly Afterschool Programs was started in 2003 by a motivated group of Honors College
students who learned of a local need for afterschool tutors during a Martin Luther
King Day of Service. Since then, Waverly has become a student organization and has
been awarded a lifetime grant of $10,000 by State Farm Insurance. Their mission is
to enhance the lives and opportunities of children in the Columbia community, to serve
as educational role models who provide a fun, safe and caring experience, to develop
the self-esteem and literacy skills of all children who participate, and to help children
realize that they can overcome life's challenges. Waverly members believe that all
children need a safe place to go after school each day with caring, responsible adults
and programs that encourage both learning and personal growth. Waverly Afterschool
Programs has four core functions: 1) To provide educational enrichment 2) To promote
continued educational excellence 3) To provide youth with positive role models, and
4) To develop student volunteers into leaders.
Get in touch via Garnet Gate or email.
Project VIDA is a student organization at the University of South Carolina that welcomes
students from a variety of backgrounds. Members of Project VIDA create presentations
about healthy living for elementary, middle, and high school populations in underprivileged
communities. It started through an Honors College initiative (Drop Everything And
Lead) and has been supported by the Bernard and Arline Ramsdale Endowment Fund. Since
its creation in fall 2010, Project Vida has been committed to educating youth in the
Columbia community about healthy living. Volunteers in Project Vida have learned to
seamlessly translate their academic passions into interactive and fun presentations
for the young people they work with. This organization has given students the opportunity
to use their classroom experiences to impact the lives of community members, while
receiving personal, professional, and civic growth. One Project Vida member stated,
"Even though we are the ones providing the information on health, I never fail to
learn new things with each presentation." The students in Project Vida have truly
become a part of the community that they serve. Project VIDA won the Outstanding Student
Organization Service Award in 2014.
Get in touch via Garnet Gate or email.