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Effectiveness Of Community Service In Enhancing Student Learning And Development

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.249.1 - 5.249.7



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Paper Authors

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Sanjiv B. Gokhale

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Michael O'Dea

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Effectiveness of Community Service in Enhancing Student Learning and Development

Sanjiv Gokhale, Michael O’Dea Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI


Since 1996, the Department of Construction Technology, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI, has been involved in a University-Community partnership, through a structured participation of students with community housing projects. In four years since it’s inception, the partnership has had a significant and lasting impact on the communities and the students engaged in providing service to these communities. This paper suggests that community service presents a powerful pedagogy for enhancing student learning and development. The paper will attempt make specific recommendations on integrating service-learning into engineering-technology courses.

I. Introduction

There is presently a paradigm shift in engineering-technology undergraduate education. Citing modern trends, such as a new global economy, and growth of information technology, the Engineering Deans Council and Business Round Table1 issued a report asking engineering- technology educators to “re-examine their curricula and programs to ensure they prepare students for the broadened world of engineering work”. Engineering Criteria 2000, the accreditation criteria established by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), formalizes this process by requiring that engineering-technology programs be able to demonstrate that their graduates have, among other capabilities, an ability to function on multi-disciplinary terms, an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility, an ability to communicate effectively, the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global/societal context, and a knowledge of contemporary issues.

It is in meeting these challenges that service-learning distinguishes itself from other forms of experimental learning in engineering. Service-learning offers engineering-technology students an opportunity to practice engineering design and apply technology by engaging students in “activities that address human and community needs” and in so doing, afford an opportunity to demonstrate “an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility” and gain a “broader appreciation of education and self”.

For almost two-decades, education researchers and practitioners have struggled to determine how best to characterize service-based learning, or simply service-learning. In 1979, Robert Sigmon

Gokhale, S. B., & O'Dea, M. (2000, June), Effectiveness Of Community Service In Enhancing Student Learning And Development Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8329

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