Each semester, CCV offers a number of classes with a service-learning component. The following are just a few examples of the variety and richness of these projects:
CCV-Rutland’s course The Natural History of Vermont (ENV-2050) contained a service-learning project in which students created an interpretive nature trail for the Pittsford Trails Committee, a municipal entity of the Town of Pittsford. In response to a request from the committee, the class chose topics of their own natural history interest, researched the topics, chose places along an existing trail that illustrated the topics, and created written language for a numbered brochure. The brochure was designed to be carried by hikers who could walk the trail and learn about its natural history at intermittent numbered stops along the way. Students were responsible for planning, designing, communicating with appropriate entities, and implementing the project. Project accomplishments include the creation and topics in the brochure along a 1.5-mile stretch of trail, coordination with the Pittsford Trails Committee to design posts to match committee expectations, choosing appropriate locations for interpretive signs along the trail and creating and installing an information box at the trailhead to hold the class’s brochures. Students in the class presented the interpretive trail to the Pittsford Trails Committee on a field walk. Today the students’ work continues to inform Pittsford students and community members about the natural elements along the trail.
In connection with the Biodiversity with Lab (BIO-1120) section on fish, CCV students visited the Eisenhower Fish Hatchery and toured the facility. Discussing Atlantic salmon restoration efforts, the class vaccinated and clipped fins for identification on a few thousand salmon. The students were fully involved in everything from anesthetizing the fish to inoculating them. As a follow up, students wrote a reflective paper. Students also discussed the experience when they returned to the classroom the following week.
Students enrolled in Introduction to Sociology (SOC-1010) met in teams with residents at a nursing home to create individual oral history books, each with four stories. The books were bound and each resident received a copy to keep and a couple of copies to send to family members. On the last day a family member, if available, read the stories aloud with the resident and the team of students. Students then assisted residents in sending an electronic copy through e-mail to a friend or family member.
Students in a Winooski Multimedia Applications and Tools (CIS-1045) class interviewed staff and former residents at COTS, the Committee on Temporary Shelter (a shelter for homeless families). Students then created a video about the organization and the growing problem of homelessness.