Service Learning

Many of our Mediator Mentors are engaged in Service Learning.  Typically these are undergraduates in Child Development, Liberal Studies, Communication and Social Science. The Mediator Mentors Project provides support for class activities, research opportunities, validation of hours served and letters of recommendation for employment files.

Our Mediator Mentors who are graduate students are often involved in completing hours for internships in the schools. The Mediator Mentors program connects these students with PPS or MFT, PSYCH or LCSW professionals who can meet with them regularly about their mediation mentoring experiences as well as other required experiences they need to accomplish at a school site.

Mutual benefit is one of the goals of the Mediator Mentor Project. This means, we nurture the school site conflict resolution program and the Fresno State student with equal attention and support.

Please also visit the Richter Center for Community Engagement at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/cesl

Definitions of Service-Learning:

  • is a method by which students learn and develop through active participation in organized service
  • is conducted in and meets the needs of the community
  • is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum
  • provides students with structured opportunities for critical reflection on their service experience
  • enhances student appreciation of themselves, societal and civic issues and their commitment to be active citizens throughout their lives

(Based in part on The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. Approved by the Service-Learning Development Committee at California State University, Fresno, 1996.)

Continuum of Service Types  

 

Volunteerism – Community Service – Service-Learning – Field Education – Internships

  1. Volunteerism: Emphasis and beneficiary the receiver. Own free will without pay.
  2. Community Service: Primary focus is on the receiver of the service and seeing the difference the service makes.
  3. Service-Learning: Equally benefit and equal focus. Within academic course context.
  4. Field Education: Co-Curricular related but not fully integrated, Maximize student learning.
  5. Internship: Hands-on development of skills and knowledge for a particular area where the student is the primary focus.

Click on Service-Learning for more information on comprehensive on-line service-learning training.

Criteria for Service-Learning

 

In spring of 1999, the Academic Senate at California State University, Fresno adopted formal guidelines that should be met in order for a course to obtain official designation as an “S” (service-learning) course. These guidelines are in line with definition of service-learning adopted by the university's Service-Learning Development Committee. Criteria necessary for an “S” designation, as well as guidelines on how to obtain such a designation, are available at: Procedures for Service-Learning (S) Designation

For individual instructors who wish to inform their students that a service-learning requirement is included in their course, or for departments who have not yet obtained an “S” designation for a particular course, a special service-learning footnote is available

The WINGSPREAD Special Report provides more information on optimal components of a high quality service-learning course.

CSU system commitment to Service Learning

 California State University, Fresno, is committed to the being the premier regional interactive university. We are committed to serving our community through a variety of means, including high quality service-learning initiatives. It is our belief that service-learning provides significant benefits to the students, the not-for-profit sector, and to the general community. Click on commitment for details on the CSUF commitment to service-learning.

Service-Learning Research

 Significant research on the effectiveness of service-learning has been conducted for over two decades. These studies include surveys of thousands of students at colleges and universities throughout the country. The findings support the conclusion that students who complete a quality service-learning assignment that is connected to the course curriculum experience several advantages compared to students in courses that do not use service-learning. These positive outcomes include greater understanding of course curriculum, clarity regarding career choice, increased civic engagement and enhanced awareness of diversity. Click on research for detailed information on service-learning research.

Internships

 

Internships are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Interns from American Humanics or other on-campus programs must first register for the class in their department and then make an appointment with the Mediator Mentors Project Director or Coordinator to review expectations and to identify a placement setting. For most internships, a paper integrating theory and practice is required.

Interns from Social Work and Counseling can be placed in schools with mediation programs AND PPS supervising professionals. This arrangements assists students who need to amass hours, provides profession-specific supervision and allows for student experience in mediation program development with site-based and university conflict resolution educators. 

Interns from other schools should bring internship descriptions to Mediator Mentors project personnel in order to assure that mutual goals and expectations are met. In all situations, the safety and privacy of school children is our first concern and appropriate finger printing and attire are required.

Sponsors

The Mediator Mentors program is grateful for support from many local organizations.

Among them:

  • The Bonner Family Foundation
  • Fresno County Office of Education
  • CSU Fresno University Outreach Services
  • The Bonner Center for Character Education
  • Fresno, Clovis, Central, Chowchilla, Dinuba, Kerman and Sanger Unified Districts
  • Kremen School Community Council.
  • California Gastroenterology Associates
  • The Ethics Center at Fresno State
  • The College of Arts & Humanities and the Philosophy department

Without our supporters, we could not offer services to more than sixty schools and provide stipends for future professionals who serve as Mediator Mentors.