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Service projects increase learning, social impact for undergrads
Date:6/23/2011

showed that students felt more positive about community involvement after the course compared with before the course; students rated their feelings of social impact and learning course material above the neutral levels in both categories.

Other differences were found between the responses of alumni and those of current students, with alumni feeling more positive about how well they learned course material compared to current students. Alumni provided responses such as: "Without this kind of experience in the field, it would be much harder for students pursuing this profession to learn what it takes to be successful in the real world.'' Another alumnus wrote: ''I currently own a landscape design business. This design class was crucial in building my confidence and expanding my awareness."

"Past research has found that students appear to perceive more benefits from service-learning experiences if they have the opportunity to reflect on the experiences with peers or their professors. Because alumni have had more time to reflect and process the past course experience, they may have noted the benefits of those experiences more", Waliczek and Zajicek observed.

The authors said that the research shows that service-learning activities teach course content and help students become aware of their potential to impact the community as they move into their careers. They recommended that more opportunities for service learning be incorporated into horticulture curricula.


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

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