ECU has approved a new Service Learning requirement that began in Fall 2007. ECU has become the first public institution in Oklahoma and one of the few in the United States to offer and require this experience. As a student-centered university, the ECU administrators believed that these activities would boost the student's experiences and knowledge.
These service learning classes are not extra classes students must attend. These will activities within their classes. Students may have the experience in general education classes, major classes, or electives. The fall semester schedule will designate which classes offer a service learning project.
Some students have already been involved in service learning through other classes. Dr. Patrick Fountain has integrated service learning projects in his classes. Students have organized a Penny War for students at local elementary schools and raised money for PAWS to buy pet food.
Why did ECU approve service learning requirements?
- Students will gain skills such as cooperation, communication, and setting and achieving goals
- Students are helping those people, animals, and organizations in need
- Students will receive a total of hands on experience they can apply to their lives
- It is an out of classroom experience that students rarely encounter
- Students will receive a better understanding of classroom materials and practice what they are learning
- Students will become aware of the needs of the community
- Students will be more active in the community
What will students need to do?
- Incoming freshman as of Fall 2007 will be required to have two classes with Service Learning designation
- Students transferring to East Central University in the fall 2007 semester or later who have earned less than sixty-four semester hours are required to take two classes with a designated service learning component. Students transferring to ECU for the first time in the fall 2007 semester or later with sixty-four or more semester hours will be required to take one class with a service learning component.
- Certain classes will have the service learning criteria built into the curriculum
- Students who began attendance at East Central University prior to fall 2007 are not required to complete a designated service learning course.
What are some examples of activities students will do?
- Reading to children
- Fund raisers for events, shelters, and organizations
- Food drives
- Raising money for families in need