Duquesne University’s Office of Service-Learning recently received a $53,000 grant to establish a regional network of higher education and non-profit entities to foster the growth of service-learning in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The grant was provided by the PA and NY Campus Compacts, and Learn and Serve America.
The SPRING (Southwestern PA Regional Network for the Growth of Service-Learning) service-learning network will award 25 course development mini-grants; offer faculty and community partner development workshops; and provide opportunities for faculty, community-based organization staff and higher education administrators to discuss the role of service-learning in the region.
As the coordinating entity, Duquesne University’s Office of Service-Learning will convene network meetings, host and supervise the grant’s program manager, and administrate the grant’s fiscal and evaluation procedures.
Service-learning is a teaching method through which students perform meaningful service to meet community-identified needs, while reflecting on their actions in a way that allows them to better understand course concepts, the role their discipline plays in society and their civic identity.
The SPRING service-learning network will be built upon a partnership among Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, Waynesburg College and The Collegiate YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. The project will continue for three years, with an additional $100,000 of funding in years two and three, and will include up to three additional institutions of higher education by September 2008.